Enormous unmet needs for alcohol treatment exist among individuals convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) since up to 43% recidivate and 67% meet criteria for alcohol dependence. We will test whether delivering a cognitive behavioral treatment (CBT) for alcohol use disorders (AUDs) as part of a mandated DUI program improves health outcomes, and reduces alcohol use, alcohol-related problems and injuries, and DUI recidivism compared to usual care. The study has the potential to promote the public welfare by providing treatment to individuals with a DUI conviction, while focusing on Latinos, who are disproportionately less likely to access treatment and more likely to be arrested for a DUI, to have higher rates of recidivism, and to die in alcohol- related crashes than their white counterparts. The study is innovative because it would be the first to address effectiveness of treatment for AUDs embedded within a DUI program. We will conduct a randomized trial of a 9-session group-based CBT (n=150) as compared to group-based usual care (UC;n=150) immediately after and 6 months after the end of treatment. Short-term outcomes include alcohol use (rates of heavy drinking, percent days abstinent), alcohol use-related self-efficacy, and intent to drink and drive. We will also examine whether race/ethnicity, gender, acculturation, and alcohol situational norms predict our primary treatment outcomes (rates of heavy drinking, percent days abstinent) and DUI recidivism (alcohol-related violations).
Our study simultaneously addresses a major public health problem (alcohol use disorders;AUDs) and addresses disparities in treatment access and alcohol-related health outcomes for Latinos with AUDs. Our study has the potential to benefit a large population of vulnerable individuals with AUDs who are at high risk of DUI recidivism and develops a new model of care to reduce disparities associated with poor access to treatment.