Therapies for drunken drivers ineffective in long term

Therapies for drunken drivers fail in 70 per cent of cases Keystone Archive

A new study shows that in the long term, treatment for drunken drivers fail in 70 per cent of cases. The therapies are offered as an alternative to prison for people who were caught driving under the influence.

This content was published on April 21, 2001 - 15:32

The study, published by the Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger, was conducted by the Zurich Institute of Forensic Medicine. It ended last autumn, after examining the rate of success of therapies carried out in 1995 in canton Zurich.

The results show that 14 per cent of the 102 drinkers, and 18 per cent of the 118 drug addicts included in the survey were arrested for the same motive less than two years after their treatment. In all of these cases, the therapy had been considered successful.

Drunken drivers had an age average of 43. Over 87 per cent of them were men.

More than half of the offenders caught in 1995 had already undergone a prior treatment. However, they were given a second chance.

The authors of the study say that the application of therapeutic measures lacked structure. They also criticize final reports, which often do not mention whether the offender has really given up drinking habits.

Judges prescribe over 1,000 alcohol therapies annually in Switzerland in virtue of a law adopted over 30 years ago.

swissinfo with agencies

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