Victim impact panels: do they impact drunk drivers? A follow-up of female and male, first-time and repeat offenders

J Stud Alcohol. 2001 Sep;62(5):615-20. doi: 10.15288/jsa.2001.62.615.


Objective: To examine gender differences and re-arrest rates of first-time and repeat offenders following referral to Victim Impact Panels (VIPs).

Method: Study participants (N = 6,702; 79% men) were first-time and repeat driving-while-impaired offenders who were referred to and completed a screening program in Bernalillo County, New Mexico, from 1989 to 1994. Whether subjects were mandated to attend a VIP was self-reported in a personal interview. Multivariate Cox proportional hazards analysis was used to test the effects of VIP referral and other predictors of recidivism. Separate models were developed for female and male first-time and repeat offenders.

Results: After controlling for multiple risk factors, VIP referral was not statistically associated with recidivism for female or male first offenders. However, female repeat offenders referred to VIPs were significantly more likely to be re-arrested compared with those not referred, with an odds of rearrest more than twice that of females not referred.

Conclusions: Although many factors influence recidivism, this study raises the possibility that VIPs may have a negative impact on female repeat offenders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Crime Victims / psychology*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Periodicity
  • Time Factors