Variations in Jail Sentences and the Probability of Re-Arrest for Driving While Intoxicated Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The probability of re-arrest for driving while intoxicated (DWI) is compared for four different groups of individuals classified by whether the individual was convicted and, if so, the type of sentence received. METHOD: Subsequent re-arrests for DWI were examined for all individuals whose index arrest for DWI had occurred between 1994 and 2001 in a county in New Mexico. The groups included (1) those convicted as a result of the index arrest and sentenced to a 28-day jail/treatment program (N (#)=(#) 2,703); (2) all those not convicted as a result of the index arrest (N = 709); (3) those who were convicted but not sentenced to jail (N = 1,047); and (4) those convicted and sentenced to jail (N = 1,290). RESULTS: Adjusting for covariates of BAC, number of prior arrests, ethnicity, age, and sex, the probability of not being re-arrested was greatest among those sentenced to the jail/treatment program (Group 1), next highest in the two groups convicted but not sentenced to jail/treatment (Groups 3 and 4), and lowest in the group that was not convicted (Group 2). Length of jail sentence among people convicted but not sentenced to the jail/treatment program was unrelated to the probability of re-arrest. CONCLUSION: Conviction for DWI, regardless of the sentence, appears to reduce the probability of re-arrest, and being sentenced to a multi-modal treatment/incarceration program further reduces the probability of re-arrest. However, the other types of sentences do not appear to differ in their impact on probability of re-arrest.

altmetric score

  • 3

author list (cited authors)

  • Delaney, H. D., Kunitz, S. J., Zhao, H., Woodall, W. G., Westerberg, V., Rogers, E., & Wheeler, D. R.

citation count

  • 10

publication date

  • June 2005