Repeat drink drivers: ending the cycle. is it an impossible dream?
Unlike what some people contend, there is no silver bullet to end drink driving. Like the people committing it, impaired driving is a complex issue requiring a variety of tools to fight it. Some tools like checkpoints, roving patrols, and increased media advertisements are critical in deterring, as well as catching, impaired drivers. The factors that result in a social drinker committing a drinking offense versus those that cause a repeat offender to drive impaired are vastly different, and complicated. Different responses are needed depending on the person. For social drinkers, the arrest and conviction can stop the criminal behavior. For repeat offenders, a different response is needed. Who repeats and who does not can depend on, in large part, whether or not the person is alcohol dependent.
A new tool in the effort to stop repeat impaired driving are Alcohol Treatment Courts. Called DWI Court in the United States, a DWI Court specifically works with repeat/addicted offenders by implementing intensive supervision and long-term treatment to address the underlying problems and change the person’s behavior so they do not repeat. This presentation discusses the role of DWI Court in ending repeat impaired driving, looking at: (1) the reasons for having a DWI Court; (2) where the idea of a DWI court was developed by looking at its precursor –Drug Treatment Courts; and (3) What a DWI Court is; how it works, and what the research says about its effectiveness.