DWI Courts Are Showing Success. Three separate studies have now found DWI Courts to be effective in reducing recidivism of DWI offenders.

  • An evaluation of three DWI Courts in Georgia asked the ultimate question: Were DWI Courts more effective in reducing recidivism?  The conclusion was a clear: Yes, the DWI Courts were more effective. The evaluation was conducted by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation (PIRE) and funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and it found:
    • Repeat DWI offenders graduating from DWI Courts were up to 65% less likely to be re-arrested for a new DWI offense
    • All DWI Court participants had a recidivism rate of 15%, whether or not they graduated or were terminated, versus a recidivism rate of up to 35% for those not in DWI Court.
    • The three DWI Courts prevented between 47 and 112 more repeat DWI arrests.
  • The study noted the effectiveness of the Georgia DWI Courts saved a substantial amount of taxpayer money that would have been needed for incarceration, court time, and probation supervision.

For a copy of the NHTSA study, click here

  • A strong evaluation of a DWI Court was recently completed on the Waukesha County Alcohol Treatment Court in Wisconsin.  The DWI Court sample consisted of 3rd-time DWI offenders, 94 percent of whom had been diagnosed as alcohol dependent.  The analysis which included all participants who entered the program, found recidivism rates for any new offense were significantly lower for the DWI Court participants than for the comparison sample.

For a copy of the Wisconsin study, click here.

  • Positive findings were also reported in a three-county evaluation of DWI Courts in Michigan.  In nearly all of the comparisons, the trends favored better outcomes for the DWI Court participants. In one county, the participants were up to 19 times less likely to reoffend.  The finding also noted that DWI Courts saved the criminal justice system time and money when compared to a traditional court.

For a copy of the Michigan study, click here.