Risk of alcohol-Impaired driving recidivism among first offenders and multiple offenders

William J. Rauch, Paul L. Zador, Eileen M. Ahlin, Jan M. Howard, Kevin C. Frissell, G. Doug Duncan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Objectives. We sought to determine the statewide impact of having prior alcohol-impaired driving violations of any type on the rate of first occurrence or recidivism among drivers with 0,1, 2, or 3 or more prior violations in Maryland. Methods. We analyzed more than 100 million driver records from 1973 to 2004 and classified all Maryland drivers into 4 groups: those with 0,1, 2, or 3 or more prior violations. The violation rates for approximately 21 million drivers in these 4 groups were compared for the study period 1999 to 2004. Results. On average, there were 3.4, 24.3, 35.9, and 50.8 violations per 1000 drivers a year among those with 0, 1, 2, or 3 or more priors, respectively. The relative risks for men compared with women among these groups of drivers were 3.8, 1.2,1.0, and 1.0, respectively. Conclusions. The recidivism rate among first offenders more closely resembles that of second offenders than of nonoffenders. Men and women are at equal risk of recidivating once they have had a first violation documented. Any alcoholimpaired driving violation, not just convictions, is a marker for future recidivism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)919-924
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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