Document Type



A discussion of the history and theory of punitive damages which results in advocating their application in a drunk driving context after giving due consideration to the pros and cons of such a sanction. An analysis of case law will reveal the underlying rationale that has motivated certain jurisdictions in applying this severe penal approach in an attempt to deter and curtail the senseless destruction on our nation's highways as well as exploring the impetus behind those other jurisdictions that do not utilize the remedy of punitive damages. The culminating focus is on California's position in this regard. Finally, there is an apropos discussion of the behind the scene, but pervasive, role that policy considerations regarding insurance coverage play in the question of subjecting insured drunk drivers to the liability of punitive damages.