Motor Vehicle Crashes (MVCs) are the most prevalent cause of fatalities among 16-20 year olds. Alcoholrelated driving convictions are a frequent precursor of MVCs, as well as alcohol use being a public health problem in their own right. Reduction in high risk driving convictions by adolescents who drink before driving would appreciably decrease the health risks for this population, as well as reduce the $40 billion negative economic impact of MVCs by young drivers. To date, interventions to reduce subsequent alcohol related convictions have had a very modest impact on driving offenders in general, and an unknown impact on adolescent drivers.
The aim of the study is to test whether two variations of adapted motivational interviewing (AMI) will lower the probability of subsequent alcohol-related convictions and high risk driving convictions more than will the combination of sanctions and remedial actions otherwise mandated by the court, and to determine if one of those variations (i.e. AMI in combination with Trauma Room exposure) is most predictive of a lower probability of subsequent alcohol-related convictions and high risk driving convictions. Court mandated youth who have: 1) been convicted of an alcohol-related offense or 2) who have been convicted of a risk driving offense and who are hazardous drinkers who drink before driving are randomly assigned to one of three 16 hour program interventions, prototypic community service (PCS), enhanced Ml (EMI), and enhanced Ml plus Trauma Room exposure (EMIT), and followed for one to three years. Subsequent convictions are measured through a combination of court records and self-report. It is hypothesized that EMI will be more effective than PCS, but that EMIT will be more effective than EMI, in lowering the probability of obtaining at least one 12-month high risk driving conviction. Hypothesized mechanisms of change for the interventions will be measured and tested in a mediation analysis to identify the active ingredients of treatment, intrapersonal change, and behavior change hypothesized to differentiate EMI and EMIT from PCS and from one another. Based on our 4 year pilot program data, it is expected that positive results for EMIT would be enthusiastically embraced by state and national leaders within the judicial and traffic safety communities and would be easily disseminated to other states for implementation by other court systems.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
Research Project (R01)
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Health Services Research Review Subcommittee (AA)
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Bloss, Gregory
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Rhode Island Hospital
United States
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Nirenberg, Ted; Baird, Janette; Longabaugh, Richard et al. (2013) Motivational counseling reduces future police charges in court referred youth. Accid Anal Prev 53:89-99
Nirenberg, Ted; Longabaugh, Richard; Baird, Janette et al. (2013) Treatment may influence self-report and jeopardize our understanding of outcome. J Stud Alcohol Drugs 74:770-6