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The Effect of Victim Impact Panels on DUI Rearrest Rates: A Five-Year Follow-Up

NCJ Number
Criminology Volume: 3 Issue: 41 Dated: 2003 Pages: 1319-1340
Date Published
22 pages

This article reports on an investigation drew on evidence from a quasi-experimental design and a 5-year follow-up to probe further the effects of Victim Impact Panels (VIPs) on DUI recidivism. 


Victim Impact Panels (VIPs) were introduced by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1982 and have since spread throughout the United States to reduce drunk driving. The objective of a VIP is to expose DUI offenders to the pain and suffering of victims caused by drunk driving, without necessarily condemning the DUI offender. The few scientific evaluations of the effectiveness of VIPs have produced mixed results. Results of the current evaluation show that 33.5 percent of the comparison group, but only 15.8 percent of the VIP group were rearrested over the 5-year period. Discrete-time event history analyses suggest that VIPs are associated with a 55.7 percent overall decrease in the hazard of rearrest; the VIP effect is strong in the first 2 years but then wanes dramatically. Methodological threats stemming from the study's design are considered. The implications of the differing styles of VIP and the resultant outcomes are also discussed. (publisher abstract modified)

Date Published: January 1, 2003