Drivers who commit drink-drive offences in Northern Ireland are less likely to reoffend if they participate in an awareness course, according to new research.
In Northern Ireland, if a person is convicted of a drink driving offence, the courts can refer them to the Course for Drink Drive Offenders (CDDO), which is delivered on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure (formerly the Department of the Environment).
CDDO aims to prevent people from committing drink driving offences by raising awareness of the effects of alcohol on their driving and wider health, the legal consequence of drink driving – and the impact of drink driving incidents on victims and their families.
A 25% reduction in the length of an individual’s driving ban is offered as an incentive for completing the course.
The analysis of the effectiveness of the CDDO, produced by the Department of Justice (NI), shows the one, two and three year reoffending rates were ‘significantly lower’ among those who undertook the course between 2010 and 2013 – compared to ‘a matched control group’ who did not attend the course.
The matched control group was made up of people who had neither been referred to nor completed the course, but had engaged in similar drink drive offences during this time period.
The research shows that in the first year after completing the course, drivers are between 0.9% and 2.3% less likely to reoffend. The corresponding figures for two and three years are between 0.9% and 2.9%, and 0.3% and 2.9% respectively.
Further analysis was completed to compare a treatment group of participants who were referred to CDDO between January 2010 and December 2013, but who did not complete the programme.
The differences in the one, two and three year reoffending rates for those who were referred but did not attend, and their matched sample, were not statistically significant.