Interventions Targeting Repeat Offenders
Not many repeat offenders are deterred by broad impaired driving laws. Four alternative sanctioning approaches have proven especially effective at reducing repeat offenses.
- Automobile Impoundment: Impounding vehicles after conviction for DUI or driving while suspended can decrease recidivism by an estimated 38% and DUI crashes by about 4%. Overall, per vehicle impounded, enforcement of this law would cost Arizona approximately $800 and save on average $4,100. Arizona in 2005 is beginning a pilot program to look into this, and some counties have already started doing so.
- Ignition Interlock: Breath- testing ignition interlocks are designed to prevent anyone with a positive BAC from starting or driving a car. Attaching an interlock to a car for a year after its operator is convicted of driving while intoxicated reduce recidivism by an estimated 75% and alcohol-related fatalities by 7%. It would save almost $8,000 per vehicle equipped. Including equipment and case management costs, interlock costs total approximately $960 per vehicle. Arizona uses this system for drivers convicted of extreme DUI, and for second offense convictions.
- Electronically Monitored House Arrest: Electronic monitoring is an alternative to incarcerating repeat offenders. It provides assurance of an offender’s presence within an assigned area. Monitoring programs attach a device to the wrist or ankle that relays a continuous signal to a computer and also may require offenders to relay a breath test when prompted by a random phone call. Implementation of this program could decrease recidivism by an estimated 31%, causing DUI crashes to decrease by about 3% in Arizona. Per person arrested, the program would cost nearly $1,400 and could avoid an estimated $5,200 in crash costs and almost $1,800 in incarceration costs.
- Intensive Probation Supervision with Treatment: Intensive probation supervision with treatment is an alternative to incarcerating repeat offenders. This early intervention program seeks to reduce alcohol-impaired driving by addressing repeat offenders’ drinking habits and provides intensive individual counseling and monitoring. Implementation of this program in Arizona could decrease recidivism by an estimated 48%, causing DUI crashes to decrease by 4%. Typically, per person arrested, this program costs approximately $1,200 and can avoid an estimated $5,800 in crash costs and $510 in incarceration costs.