0
ARTICLE |

Definition of impairment essential for prosecuting 'drunken drivers'

Terra Ziporyn
JAMA. 1985;253(24):3509-3517. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03350480015002.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

ABSTRACT

Effective prosecution for "drunken driving" requires a definition of impairment acceptable in all jurisdictions. This is particularly important today because, even by conservative estimates, ethyl alcohol plays a role in at least half of all fatal automobile accidents (eg, Ross, HL: Deterring the Drinking Driver, Lexington, Mass, Lexington Books, 1984; and Henry [ed]: Todd, Sanford, Davidsohn Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods, ed 17, Philadelphia, WB Saunders Co, 1984, p 368).

The need for an objective, enforceable, and well-defined test for ethanol concentration in a body fluid therefore seems straightforward enough. But as the countless books, pamphlets, and policy documents on defending or deterring the "drunken driver" suggest, there is a tremendous amount of confusion—among those outside the field—about what is the best test to measure blood alcohol concentrations and even about the units in which to report these concentrations.

To convict a driver of "driving under the influence," prosecutors must show that the driver's behavior has

Topics

Sign In to Access Full Content

Don't have Access?

Register and get free email Table of Contents alerts, saved searches, PowerPoint downloads, CME quizzes, and more

Subscribe for full-text access to content from 1998 forward and a host of useful features

Activate your current subscription (AMA members and current subscribers)

Purchase Online Access to this article for 24 hours

Figures

Tables

References

CME
Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
NOTE:
Citing articles are presented as examples only. In non-demo SCM6 implementation, integration with CrossRef’s "Cited By" API will populate this tab (http://www.crossref.org/citedby.html).

Multimedia

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Sign In to Access Full Content

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Jobs
brightcove.createExperiences();