Banner-Evaluation of Minnesota's High-BAC Law

3. Evaluation of Minnesota's High-BAC Law

Rates of Recidivism

Recidivism Rates by Alcohol Test Results

For both first-time and repeat offenders arrested in 1997 and 1998, the one-year and two-year rates of recidivism were higher among offenders who refused the alcohol test than among all other offenders (Table 9 and Table 10). These differences were statistically significant for first-time offenders arrested in 1997 and 1998, as well as for repeat offenders arrested in 1998. However, this difference was not statistically significant for repeat offenders arrested in 1997.

With regard to first-time offenders arrested in 1998, the rates of recidivism over two years for high-BAC offenders were comparable and not statically different from the rates for offenders with BACs below .20, (6.3 percent vs. 6.7 percent after one year; 12.6 percent vs. 12.5 percent after two years) (Table 10). With regard to the recidivism rates among repeat offenders, there were no significant differences between high-BAC offenders and those with lower BACs (6.8 percent vs. 7.1 percent after 12 months; 14.1 percent vs. 14.7 percent after 24 months). These results are summarized in Table 10. For both first-time and repeat offenders, Table 10 also indicates that rates of recidivism were consistently higher among offenders who refused the alcohol test than among high-BAC offenders. These differences were statistically significant.

The patterns and the magnitude of the one-year recidivism rates by alcohol test results (Alcohol Test Refusal, BAC < .20, BAC > .20) for first-time and repeat offenders arrested in 1999 were similar to those arrested in 1998.

Table 9

Rate of Recidivism for DWI Offenders Arrested in 1997, Minnesota
Cumulative Percent of Offenders with Subsequent Offense

 

First-time Offenders

Repeat Offenders

 

Alcohol Test Refusal

Test Failure or Unknown

Total

Alcohol Test Refusal

Test Failure or Unknown

Total

Total Cases (N)

2,937

20,139

23,076

1,825

6,375

8,200

Months Elapsed since Arrest

           

%

%

%

%

%

%

3

  3.3

  2.3

  2.4

  3.3

  3.0

  3.1

6

  5.0

  4.0

  4.1

  5.3

  5.0

  5.1

9

  7.2

  5.5

  5.7

  7.2

  6.9

  7.0

12

  9.1

  7.1

  7.3

 9.2

  8.9

  9.0

15

10.5

  8.6

  8.9

12.1

11.2

11.4

18

12.4

10.0

10.3

14.7

13.0

13.4

21

13.7

11.4

11.6

17.2

15.1

15.5

24

15.0

12.6

12.9

18.6

17.1

17.5

Table 10

Rate of Recidivism for DWI Offenders Arrested in 1998, Minnesota
Cumulative Percent of Offenders with Subsequent Offense

 

First-time Offenders

Repeat Offenders

 

Alcohol Test Refusal

BAC

 < .20

BAC

 > .20

Total*

Alcohol Test Refusal

BAC

< .20

BAC

> .20

Total*

Total Cases (N)

2,761

16,182

4,056

23,996

1,918

4,326

1,814

8,440

Months Elapsed since Arrest

               

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

%

3

  2.2

  1.9

  1.8

  1.9

  2.7

  2.2

  2.6

  2.6

6

  4.5

  3.5

  3.4

  3.6

  4.7

  3.8

  4.1

  4.3

9

  6.1

  5.1

  4.7

  5.2

  6.6

  5.6

  5.6

  6.1

12

  7.6

  6.7

  6.3

  6.7

  9.1

  7.1

  6.8

  7.9

15

  9.5

  8.2

  7.8

  8.3

11.5

  9.1

  8.5

  9.9

18

11.0

  9.6

  9.6

  9.8

13.5

11.1

10.0

11.7

21

12.3

11.0

11.1

11.2

15.9

12.7

11.9

13.6

24

13.8

12.5

12.6

12.6

18.4

14.7

14.1

15.7

*In addition to the categories of test refusal, BAC < .20, and BAC > .20, total includes offenses with missing alcohol test results..