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Keywords:

  • Driving While Impaired;
  • Treatment of DWI Offenders;
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder;
  • Motivational Interviewing

Background: 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.

Methods: A randomized clinical trial was conducted, in conjunction with 28 days of incarceration, of a treatment program incorporating motivational interviewing principles for first-time DWI offenders. The 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.

Results: Participants randomized to receive the first offender incarceration and treatment program reported greater reductions in alcohol consumption from baseline levels when compared with participants who were only incarcerated. Antisocial personality disorder participants 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.

Conclusions: Nonconfrontational treatment may significantly enhance outcomes for DWI offenders with ASPD when delivered in an incarcerated setting, and in the present study, such effects were found in a primarily American-Indian sample.