Arrests and Convictions for Drunken Driving in Virginia Before and After Adoption of a Per Se Offense

Report No: 89-R12

Published in 1988

About the report:

In July 1984, Virginia introduced a per se offense for drunken driving at the 0.15% BAC level| the presumptive level of intoxication remained at 0.10%. There was concern that this difference between the per se and presumptive levels led to fewer arrests and convictions for drunken driving. In April 1986, the per se offense was lowered to 0.10% to match the presumptive level. The Virginia Transportation Research Council was asked to study rates for arrests and convictions for drunken driving under the varying laws. Three time periods were sampled: no per se offense, a per se offense of 0.15%, and a per se offense of 0.10%. The results of the data analysis indicated that there was no statistical difference in the number of arrests or convictions under the different laws.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Charles B. Stoke, Patricia M. Byler

Last updated: December 28, 2023

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