A Cognitive Therapy Treatment Program for Repeat DUI Offenders

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Driving under the influence is a devastating problem in the United States, killing almost 17,000 people in 2005. The present article describes a cognitive treatment program aimed at repeat drinking and driving offenders. Sixty-three participants were court mandated to the four-month outpatient treatment program. Before entering and after completing treatment, participants were administered self-report instruments measuring alcohol problems, readiness to change, self-esteem/efficacy, and criminal thinking patterns. Additionally, arrest histories were examined. Findings suggested that participants were characterized not only by repeated arrests, but elevated blood alcohol content and high levels of self-reported alcohol dependency and problem-drinking behaviors. The majority of clients expressed a readiness to change their drinking and driving behaviors with 87 percent graduating from the program. A DUI recidivism rate of 13 percent was found for graduates of the program at a twenty-one month follow-up. The results demonstrate that the treatment program is a valuable tool in the battle to reduce criminal recidivism.

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Journal of Criminal Justice, v. 36, issue 6, p. 539-545