Estimating Alcohol and Other Drug (AOD) Dependence Among DUI/DWI Offenders

George Yacoubian, Jr., McFarland and Associates, Inc.
Eric D. Wish, University of Maryland at College Park

To date, few studies have explored the prevalence of alcohol and other drug (AOD) dependence within the Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) offender population. To address this limitation, we collected self-report data from 131 adult DUI/DWI offenders between September 25, 2000 and February 21, 2001. In addition, a urine specimen was collected as an objective measure of recent drug use and to validate the self-report data. The study used the Diagnostic Interview Schedule, fourth version (DIS-IV) to diagnose current abuse or dependency for nine classes of drugs. Not surprisingly, alcohol was the drug for which most offenders currently needed treatment. Fourteen percent of males and 7% of females were assessed as currently dependent on alcohol, followed by marijuana (4% each). Overall, 22% of males and 19% of females were diagnosed as currently needing treatment for at least one drug, including alcohol. Thirty-one percent of the males and 30% of the females perceived a need for AOD treatment and/or were diagnosed in need of AOD treatment by the clinical interview. Thus, approximately 1/3 of the male and female offenders in the sample self-reported a need for treatment and/or were diagnosed in need of treatment by the DIS-IV. Policy implications are assessed in light of the current findings.

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Updated 05/20/2006