Research Update on DWI Courts

In 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) endorsed driving while impaired (DWI) courts as a proven strategy for rehabilitating repeat impaired drivers. In its Safety Report on Eliminating Impaired Driving, the NTSB voted unanimously to issue bold recommendations to help the U.S. reach zero impaired-driving fatalities and eliminate alcohol-impaired driving. The NTSB concluded that DWI courts take a comprehensive approach to changing behavior, with their emphasis on ensuring accountability, making them a useful approach to rehabilitating drivers for whom traditional countermeasures are not effective.

The NTSB reached this conclusion in response to recent studies and meta-analyses demonstrating that DWI courts reduce DWI recidivism and general criminal recidivism while returning substantial cost savings to taxpayers. Early evidence suggests DWI courts can also reduce the incidence of car crashes on our nation’s highways.


Ashley Harron, J.D., Psy.D.
Fmr. National Association of Drug Court Professionals

Judge J. Michael Kavanaugh (Ret.)
Fmr. Senior Director, National Center for DWI Courts

Date: 2015