Teaching Skills to Reduce DUI Recidivism

An Evidence-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Program

by Karen Chan Osilla, Jeanne Miranda


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The purpose of this manual is to assist counselors in implementing RE-thinking Avenues for Change (REACH), a cognitive behavioral therapy developed for clients with a first-time driving under the influence (DUI) offense who are enrolled in a DUI program. The goal of REACH is to prevent drinking and driving. The authors conducted a randomized clinical trial evaluating how helpful REACH was compared with existing DUI groups in program for individuals with a first-time DUI offense, and they found that clients who received REACH reported lower odds of impaired driving upon program completion than did clients in existing groups.

This manual presents the 12-session REACH protocol used in the research study. Each session is interactive and encourages clients to share ideas and information; examine the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that put them at risk for future drinking and driving; learn or enhance existing coping skills; and provide fellow group members with peer support.

Table of Contents

  • Session One

    Making Informed Choices About Drinking (Part 1)

  • Session Two

    Making Informed Choices About Drinking (Part 2)

  • Session Three

    Connecting Emotions and Drinking

  • Session Four

    Navigating Risky Situations

  • Session Five

    Connecting Situation, Thoughts, and Feelings

  • Session Six

    Talking Back to Harmful Thoughts

  • Session Seven

    Coping with Criticism

  • Session Eight

    Everyday Choices Can Increase the Chances of Drinking and Driving

  • Session Nine

    Communicating in Difficult Situations

  • Session Ten

    Establishing Supportive Relationships

  • Session Eleven

    Increasing Enjoyable Activities

  • Session Twelve

    Problem-Solving in Difficult Times

  • Appendix A

    Motivational Interviewing Strategies

  • Appendix B

    REACH Tips Sheet

  • Appendix C

    Balanced Placebo Research Design

  • Appendix D

    Blood Alcohol Content Cards

Research conducted by

This study was funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and conducted by the Social and Behavioral Policy Program within RAND Social and Economic Well-Being.

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