Other Antidrunkdriving Strategies

In addition to deterrence, states and localities have implemented many other anti-drunk driving strategies. Since all these strategies are being used simultaneously, it is impossible to attribute any reductions to one strategy over another.

Some courts have made punitive damages available in drunk-driving cases. This allows the victim of a drunk driver to recover any amount of money a jury deems appropriate for punishment. Some states permit insurance coverage of punitive damages, thereby negating whatever deterrent effect such damages might produce, but not negating a windfall for the victim.

In some states, legislatures and courts have expanded civil (tort) liability for causing drunk-driving injuries to include commercial hosts and package sellers of alcohol. While these DRAMSHOP LAWS vary from state to state, they essentially make purveyors of alcohol to underage or intoxicated persons liable for the injuries caused by such persons to themselves or others. A few state courts have even made social hosts liable for the alcohol-related traffic injuries caused by their guests.

An essential strategy for incapacitating drunk drivers is taking away their licenses to drive. Several studies have shown that drunk drivers who lose their drivers' licenses are less likely to have a recurrence than drunk drivers who are fined, sent to jail, or assigned to mandatory treatment programs (actually, all these sanctions can be imposed together). Nevertheless, when licenses are suspended or revoked, a good deal of licenseless driving takes place—which is not surprising in a society where people depend on automobiles for their economic and social lives. Several states also have laws that authorize vehicle impoundment or forfeiture, but these sanctions are rarely used, perhaps because of the sacred status of the automobile as expensive private property.

Opportunity blocking refers to anti-crime strategies that change the environment to reduce the opportunities of committing particular offenses. The best opportunity-blocking strategy for drunk driving involves fixing the defendant's vehicle so that it cannot be started until he blows alcohol-free breath into a tube affixed to the vehicle. Such equipment is now available, and several jurisdictions have implemented experimental programs. Other opportunity-blocking strategies include the twenty-one-year-old drinking age and a spate of new laws and regulations on bars, taverns, and package-goods stores.

The anti-drunk driving movement has spawned a large number of educational strategies. These include public-service announcements on radio and television and educational materials for primary and secondary schools. The effects of such programs are very difficult to evaluate. Rehabilitation strategies for drunk drivers are closely linked to the matrix of community alcoholism and alcohol-abuse services. Drunk drivers are regularly screened for alcohol problems, and those who are identified as abusers are typically channeled into treatment through a probationary sentence.

(SEE ALSO: Accidents and Injuries; Addiction: Concepts and Definitions; Distilled Spirits Council; Driving, Alcohol, and Drugs; Minimum Drinking Age Laws; Prevention Movement; Psychomotor Effects of Alcohol and Drugs; Social Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse)


GUSFIELD, J. (1981). The culture of public problems: Drinking—driving and the symbolic order. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. JACOBS, J. B. (1989). Drunk driving: An American dilemma. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. LABELL, A. (1992). John Barleycorn must pay: Compensating the victims of drinking drivers. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press. Moore, H., & Gerstein, D. (Eds.) (1981). Alcohol and public policy: Beyond the shadow of prohibition. Washington, DC: National Academy Press. ROSS, H. L. (1992). Confronting drunk driving. NewHa-

ven: Yale University Press. ROSS, H. L. (1982). Deterring the drinking driver: Legal policy and social control. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

James B. Jacobs

DSM See Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

DTS See Delerium Tremens

DUAL DIAGNOSIS See Comorbidity and Vulnerability; Complications: Mental Disorders

DUI/DWI See Driving, Alcohol, and Drugs; Driving Under the Influence; Drunk Driving

DYNORPHIN Dynorphin is a neuropeptide transmitter; it is an OPIOID peptide, a member of the endorphin family of peptides. All neurotrans-mitters like Dynorphin have receptors. Its greatest affinity is for the Kappa opioid receptor. Dynor-phin's role in drug abuse was originally anticipated based on its location in anatomical areas strongly associated with the mechanism of action of drugs of abuse. It is localized in the NUCLEUS ACCUMBENS,

Amygdala, and Ventral Tegmental Area.

Dynorphin induces feelings of dysphoria, or despair. This was first documented in animals, and later confirmed in humans. It is surprising because the best known opiate-like drugs are morphine and heroin, and they present great abuse liability since they illicit feelings of euphoria and absence of pain. However, there seem to be two opioid systems controlling behavior one influencing feelings of REWARD (through-endorphins) and one influencing feelings of AVERSION, (through dynorphin). The physiological substrate underlying the effects of dy-norphins is believed to be at the level of the MESOLIMBIC Dopamine neurons in the ventral tegmental area. Dynorphin tonically inhibits the firing of dopamine neurons, thus preventing its release in the striatum. Elevations of dopamine levels in the nucleus accumbens are believed to underlie the reinforcing properties of many PSYCHOSTIMULANT-like drugs, as well as OPIATES.

Due to the ADVERSE feeling associated with WITHDRAWAL from many drugs of abuse, the dy-norphin system has been implicated in contributing to this state. Studies have found that there are long-term changes in dynorphin levels in brain areas associated with drug abuse, and that these changes also exist during withdrawal. Prenatal exposure to cocaine also effects the levels of dynorphin in the brain. These changes are present in both animal and human models of drug abuse. Since drugs modulate dynorphin systems, we can gain an understanding of how drugs work in the brain by studying the dynorphin system.

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