Multiple offenders are at high risk for continued drunken driving. Massachusetts, therefore, mandated that individuals convicted of a second drunken driving offense either be committed for a minimum of 7 days in a house of correction or enter a 14-day residential alcoholism treatment program for second offenders. A 2-year follow-up study of arrest rates assessed the impact of the two sentencing options on subsequent arrests for driving under the influence of liquor (DUIL). The incarcerated sample (N = 190) was slightly younger, had more prior DUIL charges and exhibited greater criminality than those who entered treatment (N = 199). Offenders admitted to the 14-day program were significantly less likely to be rearrested for drunken driving (10 vs 20%). A summary odds ratio suggested that when adjusted for differences in prior arrests, the risk of rearrest was 1.9 times greater among incarcerated offenders. Although a 2-year follow-up is insufficient to assess the complete impact of the 14-day program, the two-fold difference in the risk of rearrest suggests that mandated short-term residential treatment may provide an effective intervention among repeat offender drunken drivers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)