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Measuring the Effectiveness of the DWI Court Model: Impact Evaluation of Two NY State DWI Courts
Unformatted Document Text:  Measuring the Effectiveness of the DWI Court Model: An Impact Evaluation of two New York State DWI Courts Submitted by: Amanda B. Cissner* Center for Court Innovation 520 Eighth Avenue, 18 th Floor New York, NY 10018 607.342.5272 ## email not listed ## For the: American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting November 2009, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Alcohol-related fatalities account for 40% of all motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. Not only are alcohol-impaired drivers especially likely to be involved in fatal accidents, but NHTSA estimates that approximately one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of alcohol-related offenses are repeat offenders. DWI courts have emerged as a promising criminal justice system response to the problem posed by repeat DWI offenders. These courts, based on the proven drug court model, seek to couple traditional court responses to DWI with mandated treatment and judicial oversight in hopes of improving the court’s ability to curtail DWI recidivism. Despite strong evidence of the effectiveness of the drug court model, there is little conclusive evidence establishing the efficacy of DWI courts in curbing DWI recidivism. Early evaluation results are suggestive, but suffer from a lack of methodological rigor. The current study, therefore, provides a significant contribution to the DWI court literature by examining the impact of two New York State DWI courts on re-arrest, case processing, and sentencing outcomes among persistent DWI offenders. The study employs a quasi-experimental design to compare participants in the Buffalo and Niagara DWI courts to a matched comparison group of defendants who were processed in traditional courts.

Authors: Cissner, Amanda.
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Measuring the Effectiveness of the DWI Court Model:
An Impact Evaluation of two New York State DWI Courts
Submitted by:
Amanda B. Cissner* 
Center for Court Innovation
520 Eighth Avenue, 18
New York, NY 10018
## email not listed ##
For the:
American Society of Criminology Annual Meeting
November 2009, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Alcohol-related fatalities account for 40% of all motor vehicle fatalities in the U.S. Not 
only are alcohol-impaired drivers especially likely to be involved in fatal accidents, but 
NHTSA estimates that approximately one-third of all drivers arrested or convicted of 
alcohol-related offenses are repeat offenders. DWI courts have emerged as a promising 
criminal justice system response to the problem posed by repeat DWI offenders. These 
courts, based on the proven drug court model, seek to couple traditional court responses 
to DWI with mandated treatment and judicial oversight in hopes of improving the court’s 
ability to curtail DWI recidivism. Despite strong evidence of the effectiveness of the drug 
court model, there is little conclusive evidence establishing the efficacy of DWI courts in 
curbing DWI recidivism. Early evaluation results are suggestive, but suffer from a lack of 
methodological rigor. The current study, therefore, provides a significant contribution to 
the DWI court literature by examining the impact of two New York State DWI courts on 
re-arrest, case processing, and sentencing outcomes among persistent DWI offenders. 
The study employs a quasi-experimental design to compare participants in the Buffalo 
and Niagara DWI courts to a matched comparison group of defendants who were 
processed in traditional courts. 

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