Cover: Association of an Alcohol Abstinence Program With Mortality in Individuals Arrested for Driving While Alcohol Impaired

Association of an Alcohol Abstinence Program With Mortality in Individuals Arrested for Driving While Alcohol Impaired

Published in: JAMA Psychiatry (2023). doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2023.0026

Posted on rand.org Mar 2, 2023

by Nancy Nicosia, Beau Kilmer, Gregory Midgette, Marika Booth

Alcohol is the third-leading cause of preventable death in the US, with alcohol-impaired driving alone claiming 11,654 lives in 2020 — a 14% increase over the previous year. To address this problem, some jurisdictions are using 24/7 sobriety programs, which combine alcohol abstinence orders with frequent alcohol testing (eg, twice-daily breathalyzers, monitoring bracelets) and swift, certain, and moderate sanctions for noncompliance (typically 1 to 2 nights in jail) to reduce alcohol consumption among those arrested or convicted for alcohol-involved offenses. This article presents individual-level analyses which suggest that among those arrested for driving under the influence in South Dakota, participation in 24/7 Sobriety reduces risk of death during study period—on the order of 50%. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence from individual-level data that such programs may improve health outcomes.

Research conducted by

This report is part of the RAND external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

RAND is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.