The effects of legal sale of alcohol on the driving while intoxicated probationer



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The purpose of this project was to determine if a change permitting legal sale of alcoholic beverages in Denton, Texas would make a difference in (1) the number of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offenders, (2) the characteristics of the DWI probationer with respect to twenty-one variables including the usual demographic data and the twelve hours prior to arrest and (3) the attitude of the local officials as to policy in dealing with DWI offenders. The methods used in the study were (1) collection of data from persons granted probation for DWI and ordered by the County Court at Law to attend sessions of the Denton County Safety Education Program and (2) the comparison of the before legal sale group of probationers with the after legal sale group as to any significant difference in either the number of arrests, demographic or profile data. Chi-square and t-Test were used to evaluate the data of the before legal sale (BLS) to the after legal sale (ALS) groups. A .05 level of confidence was considered significant in evaluating the results of the data. Findings: 1. There was no significant difference between DWI probationers following a vote to legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages in Denton, Texas. 2. the number of people granted probation for DWI offence in Denton County during six months prior to legal sale was 319. The number for the six months following was 259; however, this was not found to be significant difference. 3. The comparison of sex, race, age, and education of BLS (before legal sale) and ALS (after legal sale) groups showed no differences. The income of the BLS group was higher than that of the ALS group. 4. no difference was found between the two groups in either the conditions of drinking or the amount of alcohol consumed in the twelve hours preceding their arrest. The attitude as to arrest and charge revealed the BLS group more receptive to DWI educational programs. 5. Policies affecting the disposition of allegations against DWI offenders by the local law enforcement of court officials did not change after legal sale of alcohol.



Drinking and traffic accidents--Texas--Denton County, legal sale of alochol, change in number of drunk drivers