Perceptions of plea bargains for driving under the influence (DUI) cases involving alcohol and marijuana

J. Matthew Webster, Jonathan M. Golding, Sarah E. Malik, Andrea M. Riederer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Two experiments investigated plea bargains in a mock driving under the influence (DUI) case. In each experiment, participants (78 [47 females and 31 males] in Experiment 1 and 92 [48 females and 44 males] in Experiment 2) read vignettes describing a plea bargain in a DUI case. Both experiments employed a within-subjects design: Type of Substance (alcohol vs. marijuana), Type of Plea Bargain Agreement (minimum time of suspended license vs. median time of suspended license), and Number of DUI Arrests (1 DUI arrest vs. 2 DUI arrests in a 10-year period [Experiment 1] or 1-year period [Experiment 2]). The results showed less support for plea bargains when the DUI case: (a) involved alcohol, (b) involved a minimum time of suspended license, and (c) involved two DUI arrests in a 1-year period. The results are discussed in terms of procedural justice theory and the impact of the general public’s perceptions of plea bargains as a legal tool.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)950-966
Number of pages17
JournalPsychology, Crime and Law
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 25 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • DUI
  • Plea bargains
  • public perceptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Psychology
  • Law


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