Court-Ordered Treatments Discussion of DWI Term Paper

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This may tie to overall death figures in driving accidents, which seem to occur more with men than women (Enterline, 1961).

DWI treatment is highly political, and highly contested. There is a considerable debate between those who feel that drunk drivers should be punished, and those that feel that they should be rehabilitated, with states like Virginia passing the death penalty for those who kill others while driving drunk (Jump, 2007).

Most literature about court and legal treatment of DWI offenders is community-based. There is a good deal of information generated in a few areas of the country where there is particular public pressure against drunk drivers. New Mexico, for example, has the highest DWI rate per capita of any state in the U.S. The Bernalillo County Court (which includes Albuquerque) has a particularly tough DWI court, patterned on work done in Minneapolis and Dade Country, Florida (NDCI, 2007). According to the National Drug Court Institute, authorities at Columbia University have found "drug courts provide the most comprehensive and effective control of drug-using offenders. (NDCI, 2007)"

Alcohol treatment centers are difficult to run, and have a relatively low "cure" rate. While these statistics are discouraging, it is clear that the combination of court orders and the program has a possibility of greater effect (Lapham S.S., 1997).

Evidence on jail time is more difficult to assess. Jail time for short periods, as little as 48 hours, appears to have an effect on those drivers who are not chronic alcoholics (NHSTA, 2007). There is a concern, based on studies in Norway and Sweden, that longer jail sentences may not have an increased effectiveness for chronic alcoholics who are convicted multiple times of DWI.

Conclusion

This study is both relevant to current needs, and compelling in that there are no studies found by the author which assess the effectiveness of the above-mentioned programs within the same region or demographic profile. The researchers' ability to work with local authorities in Minneapolis will assure that the sample selection is as close to random as possible, and the follow-up mechanisms should provide the most realistic feedback, when supplemented by additional access to court records after the study questionnaires are received.
Further statistical analysis of the data may point to tendencies between subgroups, particularly men and women, and those who are "occasional" heavy drinkers/drivers from those who are chronic alcoholics with multiple arrests and convictions for DWI.

Appendix

Questionnaire Key Points

Information for each participant

Section 1: Demographics From police report

Section 2: Previous arrest/conviction record From court records

Section 3: Self-declared alcohol habits From questionnaires before/after

Section 4: Treatment program adhesion From court records, follow-up

Section 5: Recidivism From court and police records

Section 6: Reduction in drinking/driving From questionnaires after Bibliography

Aalto, M. a. (2000). COMPLIANCE RATE and ASSOCIATED FACTORS for ENTERING an ALCOHOL BRIEF INTERVENTION TREATMENT PROGRAMME. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 372-376.

Enterline, P. (1961). Causes of Death Responsible for Recent Increases in Sex Mortality Differentials in the United States. The Milbank Memorial Fund Quarterly, 312-328.

Hanson, D. (2007). DWI Courts are Effective in Reducing DWI/DUI. Retrieved September 19, 2007, from Alcohol: http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/DrivingIssues/20070705120731.html

Jump, M. (2007). Virginia Finally toughens up on Drunks. Retrieved September 19, 2007, from Hampton Roads: http://talknet.hamptonroads.com/cgi-bin/WebX?@.ee9b786

Kunitz, S.D. (2006). Small-area variations in conviction rates for DWI: The significance of contextual variables in a Southwestern state. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 600-609.

Lapham, S.S. (1997). A prospective study of the utility of standardized instruments in predicting recidivism among first DWI offenders. Journal of Studies on Alcohol, n.p.

Lapham, S.S. (2000). Do Risk Factors for Re-Arrest Differ for Female and Male Drunk-Driving Offenders? Alcoholoism: Clincal & Experimental Research, 1647-1655.

MADD. (2002, August). Total Traffic Fatalities vs. Alcohol Related Traffic Fatalities - 1982-2006. Retrieved September 19, 2007, from MADD: www.madd.org/stats/11882

NDCI. (2007). DWI Courts and DWI/Drug Courts:. Retrieved September 19, 2007, from NDCI: http://www.ndci.org/dwi_drug_court.htm

NHSTA. (2007). Specific Sanctions and Remedies: Sanctioning the Offender. Retrieved September 19, 2007, from NHSTA: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/people/injury/alcohol/DWIOffenders/pages/SanctOffend.htm

The intention is to monitor the subset which selects AA meetings and to monitor their progress during the study.

The concern, and reason for exclusion, is that a….....

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