This article reports on a randomized clinical trial of a treatment program that incorporated motivational interviewing principles for first-time DWI offenders, in conjunction with 28 days of incarceration.
Randomized trial evidence on the effectiveness of incarceration and treatment of first-time driving-while- intoxicated (DWI) offenders who are primarily American Indian has yet to be reported in the literature on DWI prevention. Further, research has confirmed the association of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) with problems with alcohol, including DWI. In the current study, a sample of 305 offenders, including 52 diagnosed as ASPD by the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, were assessed before assignment to conditions and at 6, 12, and 24 months after discharge. Self-reported frequency of drinking and driving, as well as various measures of drinking over the preceding 90 days were available at all assessments for 244 participants. Further, DWI rearrest data for 274 participants were available for analysis. The study found that participants randomized to receive the first-offender incarceration and treatment program reported greater reductions in alcohol consumption from baseline levels compared with participants who were only incarcerated. Participants with antisocial personality disorder reported heavier and more frequent drinking, but showed significantly greater declines in drinking from intake to posttreatment assessments. Further, the treatment resulted in larger effects relative to the control on ASPD than non-ASPD participants. The study’s overall conclusion is that nonconfrontational treatment may significantly improve outcomes for DWI offenders with ASPD when delivered in an incarcerated setting; and in the current study, such effects were found in a primarily American-Indian sample. (publisher abstract modified)