The impact of alcohol ignition interlocks on a group of recidivist offenders: A case-study approach

Freeman, James E., Sheehan, Mary C., & Schonfeld, Cynthia C. (2007) The impact of alcohol ignition interlocks on a group of recidivist offenders: A case-study approach. In International Conference on Alcohol Drugs and Traffic Safety (T2007), 26-30 August 2007, Seattle, USA.

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OBJECTIVE: The paper reports on a longitudinal study that focused on both quantitative and qualitative data to examine the impact of alcohol ignition interlocks on a group of recidivist drink drivers from a users’ perspective. DESIGN AND METHODS: The study utilised a case-study approach to investigate 12 participants’ self-reported perceptions and experiences of using an interlock and the effect that the device had on key program outcomes such as drinking levels, operational performance, circumvention attempts and general beliefs regarding the effectiveness of the device in comparison to traditional legal sanctions. RESULTS: Participants reported positive appraisals regarding the effectiveness of the device as qualitative themes emerged concerning the educational and practical benefits of interlocks in comparison to traditional sanctions. However, closer examination of individual interlock performances revealed each participant had attempted to start their vehicle after consuming alcohol, and a smaller sample of three drivers were regularly attempting to start their vehicle after drinking. The combination and analysis of self-reported and downloaded interlock data revealed four main themes: (a) initial operational difficulties, (b) a general unwillingness to reduce alcohol consumption levels, (c) an unwillingness to acknowledge/recognise that interlock breath violations resulted from drinking, and (d) an overall decline in the frequency of interlock breath violations over the interlock installation period. A further notable finding was that half the sample still consumed harmful levels of alcohol upon program completion. CONCLUSIONS: This paper will further outline the major findings of the program of research and consider treatment implications for individuals who continue to be unwilling to change drinking behaviours.

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ID Code: 11871
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: No
Additional Information: For more information, please refer to the conference website (see hypertext link) or contact the author.
Additional URLs:
Keywords: ignition interlocks, alcohol
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > PSYCHOLOGY AND COGNITIVE SCIENCES (170000) > PSYCHOLOGY (170100)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 (please consult author)
Deposited On: 14 Jan 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 12:53

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