1. San Juan County (N.M.) DWI First Offenders Program

San Juan County (N.M.) DWI First Offenders Program

Program Goals

The San Juan County DWI First Offender Program is designed to work with court-defined first-time offenders convicted of driving while intoxicated (DWI). The goal of the program is reduce DWI rearrest rates.


Target Population

The program is run by San Juan County, which is in northwestern New Mexico, and targets court-defined first-time DWI offenders. The participants come from rural and tribal settings.


Program Components

The program was introduced to counter high rates of alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes. First-time offenders are incarcerated in a minimum-security facility for 28 days. While incarcerated, program recipients receive a multicomponent treatment that is culturally appropriate (for example, Native Americans have access to a sweat lodge and talking circles). There are nine specific treatment components:


·         Alcohol use, abuse, and dependence

·         Health and nutrition

·         Psychological effects of alcohol abuse

·         Drinking-and-driving awareness

·         Stress management

·         Goal-setting for the immediate future

·         Family issues and alcohol

·         Domestic violence

·         HIV/AIDS prevention


There is a work release program for clients who are employed. Participants receive individual counseling, group programs, and postdischarge monitoring for 3 to 12 months. The postdischarge monitoring program includes personal action plan implementation, weekly monitor meetings, alcohol breath tests, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings attendance, job referrals, and vocational education.


Throughout the program, motivational interviewing techniques are used in client–counselor interactions. Motivational interviewing is a nondirective, client-centered counseling style that emphasizes nonconfrontational communications. Counselors are trained in motivational interviewing. This technique rests on several assumptions, including the following:


·         Confrontational/negative messages are counterproductive to bringing about change

·         Most people move through a series of steps before they are ready to change

·         Change is internally motivated rather than externally imposed

·         Education/knowledge alone will not effect change

·         A key to motivating change is to reduce ambivalence

·         The individual can, in fact, make a change [Fleming 2002]

Intervention ID

18 to 100


Study 1

Alcohol Use

Wood and colleagues (2007) found that for all three measures of alcohol use (total standard ethyl-alcohol consumption [SEC], drinking days, and average blood–alcohol content [BAC]) the treatment group improved more than the participants in the control group did. The effect size ranged from small to medium. For SECs, the treatment group improved by 110.3 drinks over the 90 days, compared with the control participants, who improved by 26.9 drinks over the 90 days. Drinking days declined by 3.3 for control participants but by 11.6 for treatment individuals. Control participants had a decline of .005 for average BAC, while treatment individuals showed a decline of .018.


Contrary to expectations, antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) participants showed greater improvement over time than non–ASPD participants. However, these changes were not statistically significant.


DWI Recidivism

The probability of ASPD participants in the treatment group being rearrested was only .56 as large as that for ASPD participants in the control group. While this finding is suggestive, it is not statistically significant. This finding also contrasts with the hazard ratio for non–ASPD participants, where the ratio was 1.19 compared with the controls. This effect was also statistically nonsignificant.


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