Virginia's program to combat drug-related DUI, 1988-1989.
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Virginia's program to combat drug-related DUI, 1988-1989.

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      Beginning on April 1, 1988, a revision to Virginia law gave police officers the authority to require an individual suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs to submit a blood sample to be tested for drug content. Concurrent with the implementation of the revised law, Virginia initiated a pilot Drug Recognition Technician (DRT) Program, which concentrates on training police officers to detect the signs of impairment consistent with seven broad categories of drugs. This study is an evaluation of the impact of the revised law and the DRT program on arrests and convictions for drug-related DUI in 1988 and 1989. The researcher concludes that both the revised law and the DRT program have been effective in increasing the number of arrests and convictions for drug related DUI. However, even when drugs were detected in a suspect's blood sample, generally less than 70% of the cases resulted in a DUI conviction. When neither drugs nor alcohol was detected in the blood sample, less than 25% of the cases resulted in a DUl conviction. The researcher recommends that possible legislative changes be studied to determine if there are ways to increase the probability of conviction in cases of drug-related DUI.
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