U.S Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Examining the Effectiveness of Utah's Law Allowing for
Telephonic Testimony at ALR Hearings

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.
DOT HS 809 602

2. Government Accession No.

3. Recipient’s Catalog No.


4. Title and Subtitle

5. Report Date

 Examining the Effectiveness of Utah’s Law Allowing for Telephonic Testimony at ALR Hearings

   June 2003


6. Performing Organization Code


7. Author(s)

8. Performing Organization Report No.

      Wiliszowski, CH; Jones, RK; and Lacey, JH


9. Performing Organization Name and Address

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)


Mid-America Research Institute

11. Contract or Grant No.

611 Main Street, Winchester, MA   01890


12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

13. Type of Report and Period Covered

     National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

     Office of Research and Traffic Records

     400 7th Street, S.W.

     Washington, DC   20590

   Final Report


14. Sponsoring Agency Code


15. Supplementary Notes

      Amy Berning was the Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative (COTR) for this project.

16. Abstract

    Difficulties associated with conducting administrative license hearings regarding DWI offenses have often resulted in sporadic or ineffective use of administrative license revocation/suspension (ALR/ALS) laws around the United States.  This project studied a unique solution, allowing telephonic participation at administrative license hearings in Utah, as a remedy to the problem of law enforcement officers failing to appear at ALR hearings. 

     Methods employed to obtain pertinent information included interviews, focus groups, data analysis from State level driver license record databases (1995-2001), and a survey of law enforcement officers conducted in conjunction with the Utah Department of Public Safety.  The evaluation focused on any impact on the number of ALR hearings held, the number of telephonic ALR hearings, the number of hearings where one or more participants failed to appear, and the outcome of all ALR hearings. 

     Major findings of this study include the following.  After the initiation of telephonic hearings in Utah, there was a statistically significant reduction (20%, p=0.01) of ALR hearings that resulted in the return of driver licenses due to the absence of the arresting law enforcement officers from administrative license hearings.  Although this reduction cannot be entirely attributed to the use of telephonic hearings because the reduction began before the telephone method was implemented, we consider the use of telephonic ALR hearings to be a factor in the continued reduced rate of “no action” findings due to the absence of law enforcement officers.  Telephonic ALR hearing capabilities in Utah have not yet been fully implemented throughout the State; thus, further reductions could be seen.  Many law enforcement officers surveyed in Utah were not aware of ALR hearing telephonic capabilities.  Ongoing training relative to ALR proceedings is important for law enforcement and hearing officers.  Usually due to increasingly strained resources, some law enforcement officials do not encourage officers to become proficient in administrative license hearing proceedings, or even to attend ALR hearings.  All individuals in law enforcement must understand that time spent in an ALR hearing could reduce or eliminate the amount of time required of the arresting officers during judicial proceedings, if the defendant decides to plead guilty because of strong testimony by the arresting officers during the ALR hearing.  But more importantly, the absence of the arresting officers at ALR hearings automatically reinstates driving privileges to the accused, forfeiting the chance to swiftly remove unsafe drivers from roadways.

17. Key Words

18. Distribution Statement

Administrative license revocation (ALR), DWI, DUI, Administrative License Suspension (ALS), ALR Hearings, Law enforcement agency (LEA), Peace Officers, Telephonic Hearings, ALR Hearings

This report is available from the National Technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia 22161,

(703) 605-6000, and free of charge from the NHTSA website at www.nhtsa.dot.gov

19. Security Classif.
(of this report) unclassified

20. Security Classif. (of this page)

21. No. of Pages

22. Price


Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72)          Reproduction of completed page authorized