Banner-Evaluation of Minnesota's High-BAC Law

3. Evaluation of Minnesota's High-BAC Law

Profile and Disposition of DWI Cases 1997-2000

Case Dispositions

Case Dispositions of Repeat Offenders

Case dispositions for repeat offenders also were examined for the years 1997-2000.  Virtually all repeat offenders in these years received an administrative sanction, and almost all also received a DWI conviction.  Case dispositions for repeat offenders overall were more severe after the implementation of the High-BAC law compared to 1997, the year prior, due to the application of enhanced sanctions.  For example, 22.1 percent of all repeat offenders in 1998, the first year of the High-BAC law, received an enhanced sanction (Table 7).  In addition, there was a decline from 1997 to 1998 (not shown in Table 7) in the percentage of repeat offenders who received a standard DWI conviction but no administrative sanction (8.7 percent vs. 2.8 percent).  In 1998, virtually all high-BAC repeat offenders received enhanced sanctions (96.8 percent).

Table 7

Case Dispositions for Repeat DWI Offenders
Minnesota, 1997 and 1998

 

1997*

1998

 

Test Refusal

Total

Test Refusal

BAC <.20

BAC >.20

Total

Total (N)

1,825

8,191

1,918

4,333

1,814

8,065

 

%

%

%

%

%

%

Refusal or Standard Administrative Only

12.3

  9.6

10.8

  7.9

  0.5

  7.0

Enhanced Administrative Only

---

---

---

---

  7.6

  1.7

Standard DWI Conviction Only

---

  8.7

---

  4.2

  2.4

  2.8

Enhanced DWI Conviction Only

---

---

---

---

  1.5

  0.4

Refusal Conviction Only

  0.8

  0.2

  1.0

---

---

  0.2

Standard Turnaround (Admin & Convict)

  0.4

  0.2

  0.2

  0.2

---

  0.2

Enhanced Turnaround (Admin & Convict)

---

---

---

---

  6.1

  1.4

Standard Administrative & Standard Conviction

62.0

75.8

60.7

87.3

  0.5

61.4

Standard Administrative & Enhanced Conviction

---

---

  0.8

  0.2

  0.6

  0.2

Enhanced Administrative & Standard Conviction

---

---

---

---

35.7

  8.1

Enhanced Administrative & Enhanced Conviction

---

---

---

---

45.3

10.3

Refusal Administrative and DWI Conviction

24.6

  5.5

26.3

---

---

  6.3

Total Standard Sanctions

100.0

100.0

99.2

99.8

3.4

77.9

Total Enhanced Sanctions

---

---

0.8

0.2

96.8

22.1

*BAC results for offenders who submitted to the alcohol test were not available for 1997.

Table 8 summarizes the case dispositions for high-BAC repeat DWI offenders for each of the years 1998-2000.  Due to space limitations on the records created to support the analyses, case dispositions were missing for some repeat offenses in 1999 (N=453) and 2000 (N=801).  These cases were excluded from the analyses summarized in Table 8.

The percentage of high-BAC repeat offenders receiving an enhanced sanction ranged from 96.8 percent in 1998 to 98.0 percent in 2000.  A percentage point decline occurred in enhanced turnaround sanctions (which should be available only to first-time offenders); the percentage of these dispositions was 6.1 percent in 1998, 0.2 percent in 1999, and 0.1 percent in 2000.  A small proportion of offenses occurring in 2000 may not have reached final disposition in court when the data were extracted from the driver license file, which may have affected an increase in the proportion of cases that received administrative sanctions only but not court sanctions (8.1 percent in 1999 vs. 13.7 percent in 2000).

Table 8

Case Dispositions for Repeat DWI Offenders with BACs > .20
Minnesota, 1998, 1999, 2000

 

1998

1999

2000

Total Cases (N)

1,814

1,468

1,049

 

%

%

%

Refusal or Lower BAC Administrative Only

0.5

1.1

0.5

Enhanced Administrative Only

7.6

6.2

13.2

Standard DWI Conviction Only

2.4

1.8

1.4

Enhanced DWI Conviction Only

1.5

1.2

1.4

Enhanced Turnaround (Administrative & Conviction)

6.1

0.2

0.1

Standard Administrative & Standard Conviction

0.5

---

0.1

Standard Administrative & Enhanced Conviction

0.6

0.4

0.4

Enhanced Administrative & Standard Conviction

35.7

46.5

38.6

Enhanced Administrative & Enhanced Conviction

45.3

42.6

44.2

Total Standard Sanctions

3.4

2.9

2.00

Total Enhanced Sanctions

96.8

97.1

98.0