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Sample Characteristics

Missouri records contained information on 4,267 individuals who were arrested between January 1, 1995, and December 31, 1997, on Use and Lose charges for whom a driver history record could be found. Table 1 shows characteristics of the Missouri study group. Persons under 17 made up less than four percent of the subjects and there were substantially fewer 17 year-olds than 18, 19 or 20 year-olds. Eighty-six percent were males and 14 percent were females. Just over one-half had a previous traffic violation and about one in three had previous official driver license actions (e.g., points assessed, suspensions, etc.). Charges involving license alteration and second offense possession of alcohol by persons under age 18 were too few (24) for meaningful analysis and were excluded.


In Missouri, alcohol-related traffic offenses are included in the State's Abuse and Lose law. As noted, statewide data were obtained for this class of offense while only Missouri State Highway Patrol arrests were obtained for the other Abuse and Lose charges. The result, shown in Table 2, was that the large majority (72.3%) of the input arrests were for DWI related charges.

The frequency with which driver license actions were taken against the three types of arrested offenders also varied substantially. Table 3 shows that approximately 85 percent of the DWI arrested group underwent licensing action. The reverse was true for non-DWI Abuse and Lose violations. Table 3 indicates that only 16 percent of the Possession of Alcohol arrests resulted in a license action. Similarly, only 14 percent of the Possession or Use of Controlled Substance arrests resulted in a license action. For the two violations combined, there were only 182 cases for which a non-DWI Abuse and Lose violation resulted in a license action versus 999 for which no license action was identified.

Across the three violation types listed in Table 3, there were 2,802 cases that resulted in a license action and 1,465 that did not result in a license action. The vast majority of the license actions were related to DWI events (94 percent) whereas the majority of the no license actions were related to possession or use of alcohol or controlled substances (68 percent).

Table 4 shows the number of subsequent traffic violations for the suspension, or license action group, versus the no license action group. The results indicate that the no-suspension group was somewhat more likely to have a subsequent violation on their record than the suspension group. However, this comparison should be viewed with some caution since the suspension versus no-suspension groups arise from different input events, i.e., different arrest charges. Moreover, subsequent violations tabulated separately for the DWI and two non-DWI groups did not show statistically significant differences between those with license action versus those with no license action.

Table 1. Study Population Characteristics, Missouri (Total=4,267)
Number (%)
Under 17
159 (3.7)
633 (14.8)
1,032 (24.2)
1,201 (28.1)
1,242 (29.1)
3,669 (86.0)
598 (14.0)
Previous Traffic Violations:
2,019 (47.3)
2,248 (52.7)
Previous Driver License Actions:
2,864 (67.1)
1,403 (32.9)

Table 2. Missouri Input Arrests (Total=4,267)
Number (%)
3,086 (72.3)
Possession or Use of Alcohol
915 (21.4)
Possession or Use of Controlled Substance
266 (6.2)

In summary, the main conclusion from the Missouri data was that: license action was common for young persons arrested on a DWI charge; license action was not common for young persons arrested on other Abuse and Lose charges. Additional analysis of the Missouri data was not done given the small number of non-DWI license suspensions identified.

Table 3. License Action by Input Arrest Type
License Action, Number (%)
Yes: 2,620 (84.9)
No: 466 (15.1)

Possession or Use of Alcohol
Yes: 145 (15.8)
No: 770 (84.2)

Possession or Use of Controlled Substance
Yes: 37 (13.9)
No: 229 (86.1)

Table 4. Subsequent Violations-Suspension versus No Suspension
Subsequent Violation
Underwent Suspension, Number (%)
No Suspension, Number (%)
1,447 (51.6)
807 (55.1)
1,355 (48.4)
658 (44.9)
P2=4.58, p<.05

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