ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

A Preliminary Investigation into a Group of Recidivist Drink Drivers' Experiences and Perceptions of Legal Sanctions

Freeman, James, Liossis, Poppy, Schonfeld, Cynthia, Sheehan, Mary (Peer reviewed)

Drink/Drug Driving


Concern remains regarding the ability of legal sanctions to produce behavioural change among recidivist drink drivers. This paper reports on an investigation into a group of repeat offenders (N = 166) experiences and perceptions of legal sanctions, including the perceived purpose, fairness and effectiveness of penalties incurred for drink driving offences. Participants perceived legal sanctions to be severe and fair, but not entirely certain nor swift. The majority reported that penalties were designed for retribution rather than reform, and that current countermeasures are not extremely effective in reducing re-offending behaviour. The findings suggest that increasing the severity of sanctions may not guarantee behavioural change, and that additional countermeasures are required if the drinking and driving sequence is to be broken for this population.