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Strategies to decrease repeat DUIs

Massachusetts has strict DUI laws, and one of the goals of them is not only to punish drivers for breaking the law but also prevent them from drinking and driving in the future. While the majority of drivers seem to learn their lesson, there is a pretty high percentage that gets subsequent DUIs. While DUI prevention strategies may work for some of these drivers, some seemed wired to continue this risky behavior even when the penalties are high.

According to the Association of Psychological Science, around 30% of drivers who have had one DUI will get at least one more conviction in their lifetime. While this is representative of reckless behavior, a study that compared the risk-taking levels of repeat DUI offenders to other risky drivers demonstrated repeat DUI offenders had the lowest levels of risk-taking when alcohol is not involved. All groups, however, had neurobiological markers, such as a dysregulation of cortisol response, for risk. 

The AFMC outlines tips that are designed to prevent drunk driving. While telling repeat DUI offenders not to drink after driving may not be the most effective advice, there are other strategies that may help ensure they do not drive. One of the most effective is the use of ignition interlock devices. These prevent anyone with an alcohol level over .02% to even start the vehicle, much less drive it. Required alcohol testing may also help decrease the number of impaired drivers. Other potential strategies may include:

  • Behavioral therapy
  • Alcohol abuse treatment such as medication or time at an addiction center
  • Support groups such as AA




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