Reaching Out to Stop DUI: A Prevention Program Aimed at Spanish Speaking Migrants

George D. Muedeking, California State University - Stanislaus
Maria L.M. Garcia, California State University - Stanislaus

Analysis of probation caseloads in a rural California Co. show an unusual preponderance of male, Spanish-speaking, Mexican-Americans convicted of misdemeanor and felony DUI. Hospital records indicate that this population is also overrepresented among patients admitted with alcohol related diseases. Other surveys show that the origins of this problem are based in both a deficiency of information about DUI laws and alcohol effects and in culturally related aspects of alcohol consumption. A project was developed through funding from the Office of Traffic Safety of the Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency that takes a three pronged approach to this problem. (1) Working through local community based organization the program formulates an outreach educational program to promote DUI awareness,; (2) Surveying misdemeanor DUI offenders in order to develop more comprehensive information about the nature of this offense in the Spanish speaking community; (3) Developing client specific intervention programs tailored to the needs of felony offenders. Preliminary results are discussed.

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Updated 05/20/2006