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ARE DRUNK DRIVERS GETTING A BARGAIN
MSD saw this article in the Northfield News (Minnesota). We thought it was such an excellent article that we wanted to share it with others. Permission was given by the author.
JACI SMITH, Regional Editor
In September 2004, Peter James Rappe, then 24, was driving down the 100 block of Woodley Street when he was pulled over by a Northfield police officer who had reason to believe Rappe was driving drunk. Tests on the scene and a Breathalyzer result confirmed the officer’s suspicions — Rappe blew over the legal limit of .08 percent blood alcohol content.
The officer gave Rappe a notice of revocation, which instantly removed his driving privileges, and issued an incident report that would later go to the city prosecutor as a recommendation Rappe be formally charged with DWI — driving while intoxicated. The city prosecutor offered Rappe a deal: probation for a year, random testing, and the license revocation in exchange for a careless driving conviction. Rappe agreed. That’s how he became part of a little known statistic in Rice County’s battle against drunk driving.
Statistics show that the more immediate the consequence the lower the recidivism
Taken from a report by Professor Steve Simon
Minnesota’s pre-hearing “immediate” administrative license revocation (license taken within 7 to 10 days of arrest) has a powerful effect on reducing DWI recidivism. The driving records of 2100 drivers who only received a pre-hearing administrative implied consent based license revocation in 1995 were analyzed and the recidivism incidence and rate over three years was determined and analyzed. That analysis indicates that the DWI recidivism rate for first time DWI offenders who experienced an immediate license revocation (within 0 to 10 days of their arrest) was 13% over three years. First time DWI offenders who experienced a delayed administrative license revocation (11 to 30 days after their arrest) had a recidivism rate of 17.7 % over three years. First time DWI offenders who experienced an administrative license revocation more than 30 days after their arrest had a recidivism rate of 22.4% over three years. For second time DWI offenders, the recidivism rates were 17.6% (revoked 0 to 10 days after arrest), 21.6% (revoked 11 to 30 days after arrest) and 32.0% (revoked more than 30 days after their arrest) .
Another study of DWI offenders examined the effect of the Minnesota plate impoundment law on DWI recidivism. The study examined the effect of the plate impoundment law on 6000 Minnesota DWI offenders eligible for plate impoundment between August of 1988 and September of 1992. (impounding plates started at 3rd time DWI during this period) Third time DWI offenders who experienced a quick license plate impoundment issued by the arresting officer (0 to 10 days from time of arrest) experienced a DWI recidivism rate of 13% over 24 months. Third timers who experienced a delayed plate impoundment issued by the Department of Public Safety (11 to 30 days from time of arrest) experienced a DWI recidivism rate of 19%. This is almost a 50% greater recidivism rate. For third time with no plate impoundment order, the recidivism rate was 26%. Clearly pre-hearing administrative license plate impoundment has a much greater effect on DWI recidivism than delayed administrative license plate impoundment. It should be noted that there was little difference in the recidivism rate among fourth time and above DWI offenders who experienced either a pre-hearing or delayed administrative plate impoundment.
Pre-hearing implied consent administrative license revocation is a powerful tool that allows the state to protect the driving public from drunk drivers.