Investigators at the University of New Mexico (UNM) studied the effectiveness of the San Juan County DWI Facility to deter drunken driving in San Juan County, N.M.
The study evaluated the facility as a sentencing option for first-time offenders, as well as the effect of adding a Victim Impact Panel (VIP), where offenders hear about the experience of victims of someone else's, or their own, drinking and driving.
San Juan County had the highest frequency of DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenses in the state and had the second-highest rate of alcohol-related vehicle fatalities in the United States.
The San Juan County DWI facility, which was started in 1994, incarcerates offenders for 28 days. During that time, offenders participate in various assessment and treatment activities, and they then enter a two-month aftercare period of regular alcohol intervention components. Many elements of the program have been modified to be culturally sensitive to the 70 percent Navajo client population.