« The WAGER, Vol. 14(2) - Can Treatment be Short and Sweet? A Comparison of Brief Interventions for Problem and Pathological Gamblers | Main | ASHES, Vol. 5(2) - Advertising the Smoking while Drinking Phenomena »

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Comments

Dear Ingrid,

Your research shows that people who commit DUIs in 'dry' counties represent a more serious class of offender. Gambling research shows that in states where electronic gambling machines (EGM's) are only permitted in one or two large casinos, gamblers tend to gamble for longer periods of time in a single session, spend more per gambling session but gamble less often that people living in states where EGM's are permitted in many venues scattered throughout urban centres.

The theory behind this phenomenon is that sparely located casinos are expensive to get to, but once the gamblers visit the casino, they are determined to gamble for as long as possible (thereby spending all the money they can access) because they are unlikely to return for some time.

Applying this phenomenon to your findings, would not drinkers forced to drive long distances to "enjoy" the benefits of venues serving alcohol also be motivated to drink to excess knowing they aren't likely to be able to drink again for some time?

Your findings that DUI offenders in dry counties were more likely to be male and underage, and more likely to have multiple DUI offenses does not surprise me at all. It is well established in psychological and sociological research that teenage males are more likely to take risks (drinking and driving is certainly risky behavior) and less likely to accurately predict the risk of getting caught or the risk of being harmed as a consequence of their behavior than any other demographic group. They are also the demographic group less likely to be able to afford cab fees to and from a drinking establishment (this would be especially true of young males who own motor vehicles) and most likely to be living in the home (where alcohol fueled parties would be frowned upon).

Your finding that DUI offenders in dry counties are more likely to have multiple DUI offenses, more likely to meet alcohol abuse and dependence criteria, and less likely to comply with treatment plans, than offenders in wet counties also does not surprise me. Young males are much more likely to rebel against rules of society and to refuse to follow the "advice" of authorities when caught out.

It would be most interesting to know the age at which frequent DUI offending drops significantly (I would predict it would drop significantly after the age of 25 in dry counties but would not drop as significantly in wet counties). This would indicate whether or not multiple DUI offenses, meeting alcohol abuse and dependence criteria and compliance/non-compliance with treatment plans, actually has a significant impact on changing drinking behavior.

Further study on the age at which frequent DUI offending drops significantly might also reveal
• Whether serial offending continues to differ in one, some or all regions as serial offenders age,
• Whether change occurs 'naturally' as serial offenders "grow up" regardless of where they live, and
• Whether or not meeting alcohol abuse and dependence criteria in one's youth accurately predicts long term alcohol abuse and dependence.

All in all, an interesting piece of research.

Sue

Ms. Pinkerton,

Thank you for your continued interest in the BASIS! Just to clarify, the research we reviewed in the DRAM was conducted by Webster and colleagues, not by anyone at the Division on Addiction. The comparison you draw between these data and gambling findings is intriguing. Based on your interests we think that the following articles may provide you with more information. There are a few other studies about DUI offender characteristics and some of them reference age and gender, on their own, combined with each other, and/or combined with other possible risk factors and variables.

In addition, a citation of the reviewed article is listed below.

We here at the BASIS wish you the best and thank you for your continued support of our publication.

Sincerely,
-The BASIS Staff

DRAM Article: Webster, J. M., Pimentel, J. H., & Clark, D. B. (2008). Characteristics of DUI offenders convicted in wet, dry, and moist counties. Accid Anal Prev, 40(3), 976-982.

Other articles:
Shaffer, H. J., Nelson, S. E., LaPlante, D. A., LaBrie, R. A., Albanese, M., & Caro, G. (2007). The epidemiology of psychiatric disorders among repeat DUI offenders accepting a treatment sentencing option. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 75(5), 795-804.

LaPlante, D. A., Nelson, S. E., Odegaard, S. S., LaBrie, R. A., & Shaffer, H. J. (2008). Substance and psychiatric disorders among men and women repeat driving under the influence offenders who accept a treatment-sentencing option. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 69(2), 209-217.

Webster J.M., Pimentel J.H., Harp K.L., Clark D.B., Staton-Tindall M. (2009). Substance abuse problem severity among rural and urban female DUI offenders. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse, 35(1), 24-27.

Wells-Parker E, Anderson BJ, McMillen DL, Landrum JW. (1989). Interactions among DUI offender characteristics and traditional intervention modalities: a long-term recidivism follow-up. Br J Addict, 84(4), 381-90.

Brown TG, Gianoulakis C, Tremblay J, Nadeau L, Dongier M, Ng Ying Kin NM, Seraganian P, Ouimet MC. (2005) Salivary cortisol: a predictor of convictions for driving under the influence of alcohol? Alcohol Alcohol, 40(5), 474-81

Schell TL, Chan KS, Morral AR. (2006). Predicting DUI recidivism: Personality, attitudinal, and behavioral risk factors. Drug Alcohol Depend, 82(1), 33-40.

Ingrid,
I would be very interested in seeing if information referring to county of residence was available. It seems logical that most arrests would be in wet counties since alcohol is not available in dry ones. However, place of residence could give us a better understanding of the effectiveness of specific responsible consumption programs. How can I get this info or similar data?
Sincerely
Alfredo G. Phillips

Mr. Phillips,
Thank you for your interest in the BASIS! The article we reviewed did not provide information on county of residence. However a full citation is listed below and you could contact the corresponding author of the study, J. Matthew Webster to see if that information is available. We here at the BASIS wish you the best of luck and thank you for your support.

Sincerely,
-The BASIS Staff

DRAM Article: Webster, J. M., Pimentel, J. H., & Clark, D. B. (2008). Characteristics of DUI offenders convicted in wet, dry, and moist counties. Accid Anal Prev, 40(3), 976-982.

Other relevant articles:
Webster J.M., Pimentel J.H., Harp K.L., Clark D.B., Staton-Tindall M. (2009). Substance abuse problem severity among rural and urban female DUI offenders. Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse, 35(1), 24-27.

Socie E.M., Wagner S.A., Hopkins RS. (1994). The relative effectiveness of sanctions applied to first-time drunken driving offenders. Am J Prev Med, 10(2), 85-90.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)