Cover: Efficacy of Frequent Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Modest Sanctions for Violations

Efficacy of Frequent Monitoring with Swift, Certain, and Modest Sanctions for Violations

Insights from South Dakota 24/7 Sobriety Project

Published in: American Journal of Public Health, v. 103, no. 1, Jan. 2013, p. e37-e43

Posted on RAND.org on December 06, 2012

by Beau Kilmer, Nancy Nicosia, Paul Heaton, Gregory Midgette

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This study was published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal. The full text of the study can be found at the link above.

Research Questions

  1. How did 24/7 affect public health in South Dakota?

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: We examined the public health impact of South Dakota's 24/7 Sobriety Project, an innovative program requiring individuals arrested for or convicted of alcohol-involved offenses to submit to breathalyzer tests twice per day or wear a continuous alcohol monitoring bracelet. Those testing positive are subject to swift, certain, and modest sanctions. METHODS: We conducted differences-in-differences analyses comparing changes in arrests for driving while under the influence of alcohol (DUI), arrests for domestic violence, and traffic crashes in counties with the program to counties without the program. RESULTS: Between 2005 and 2010, more than 17 000 residents of South Dakota—including more than 10% of men aged 18 to 40 years in some counties—had participated in the 24/7 program. At the county level, we documented a 12% reduction in repeat DUI arrests (P = .023) and a 9% reduction in domestic violence arrests (P = .035) following adoption of the program. Evidence for traffic crashes was mixed. CONCLUSIONS: In community supervision settings, frequent alcohol testing with swift, certain, and modest sanctions for violations can reduce problem drinking and improve public health outcomes.

Key Findings

  • Between 2005 and 2010, more than 17,000 residents of South Dakota—including more than 10 percent of men aged 18 to 40 years in some counties—participated in the 24/7 program.
  • At the county level, researchers documented a 12 percent reduction in repeat DUI arrests and a 9 percent reduction in domestic violence arrests following adoption of the program. Evidence for traffic crashes was mixed.

Recommendations

  • Evaluations are needed to explore whether 24/7 can work outside South Dakota in both rural and urban areas.
  • It will also be useful to explore how testing programs with swift and certain sanctions can best incorporate positive incentives for compliance as well as treatment services.

Research conducted by

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