Sanctions and Monitoring for Convicted Drunk Drivers

Description of Strategy

Legal sanctions, whether administered by the courts or by state licensing agencies, are central to deterrence-based policies for reducing alcohol-impaired driving. They are the punishments threatened in support of the law’s mandate. Examples are fines; license actions, such as, suspension and revocation; immobilization or impoundment of the vehicle; ignition locks; jail sentences, and alternatives, such as, community service (Nichols & Ross, 1988).

In Wyoming, a first driving while impaired offense results in suspension of the driver’s license for 90 days. Repeat convictions may result in a year-long license suspension, revocation, and/or ignition interlocks (Wyoming Legislature § 31-5-233, 2017).

Discussion of Effectiveness

Alcohol

Evidence remains varied regarding the effectiveness of sanctions and monitoring for convicted drunk drivers as a prevention strategy. The effectiveness of sanctions and monitoring depends on the type of sanction implemented. Evidence suggests ignition locks are effective (Guide to Community Preventive Services, 2006; Raub, Lucke, & Wark, 2003), while the evidence on licensing sanctions and mandatory fine/jail policies remains unclear (Voas & DeYoung, 2002; Wagenaar et al., 2007).