This 2-year study evaluates 4 types of courts, general, expedited docket, driving while Intoxicated (DWI), and hybrid drug. In recent years, states have placed increased emphasis on use of criminal sanctions to deter DWI offenders. It is becoming increasingly apparent that the traffic court model is insufficient to deter DWI in and of itself. Following trends in other areas of the law (bankruptcy, family, mental health), states increasingly have implemented specialized courts for DWI cases. These courts combine standard deterrence with efforts to treat offenders'underlying addictions. The overall agenda of the proposed research is to evaluate whether or not these specialized courts are more effective than general courts in reducing rates of DWI recidivism, crimes of various types, motor vehicle fatalities and DWI in the more general population. The study is organized around 3 specific aims.
In Aim 1, Types of Courts and Impetus for Creation of DWI Courts, we identify DWI and hybrid courts on a national basis, including dates of implementation and closure (if applicable);identify expedited docket courts for 3 states, North Carolina (NC), and Georgia (GA), Michigan (MI);and assess determinants of entry/exit of DWI and hybrid courts.
In Aim 2, Effects of Courts on DWI Offenses and Offenders, with NC data we will test specific hypothesis regarding the courts and effects of court type on offenders, and evaluate the feasibility of using data from GA and MI in a follow-on study.
Aim 3, Effects of Courts on Crime and Motor Vehicle Fatalities, determines whether DWI courts result in reduced rates of major felonies as recorded in the UCR, motor vehicle facilities from FARS-both those for which there is documented alcohol use by a vehicle operator involved in the fatal accident, and for fatal accidents in general. Two papers will result from this research. One paper will incorporate study aims 1 and 3. The second paper will center on the Aim 2 analysis focusing on NC data. A proposal for a much larger project, building on the results from Aim 2 will also result from this study.

Public Health Relevance

Courts specializing in driving while intoxicated cases have been growing in number. This study assesses the effects of specific types of specialty courts on rates of recidivism, crime, and other outcomes.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Exploratory/Developmental Grants (R21)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Bloss, Gregory
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Duke University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Sloan, Frank; Eldred, Lindsey; McCutchan, Sabrina et al. (2016) Deterring Rearrests for Drinking and Driving. South Econ J 83:416-436
Sloan, Frank A; Gifford, Elizabeth J; Eldred, Lindsey M et al. (2016) Does the probability of DWI arrest fall following participation in DWI and hybrid drug treatment court programs? Accid Anal Prev 97:197-205
Sloan, Frank A; Chepke, Lindsey M; Davis, Dontrell V et al. (2013) Effects of admission and treatment strategies of DWI courts on offender outcomes. Accid Anal Prev 53:112-20