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On July 8, 2011, we participated in the “Advanced Probation Officer DUI Seminar, Probation Strategies With The Hardcore Drunk Driver,” conducted by the Institute for Legal, Legislative and Policy Studies (ILLAPS), University of Illinois, Springfield, IL.  Hardcore drunk drivers can be defined as those who drive with a high BAC of 0.15 or above, who do so repeatedly as demonstrated by having more than one drunk driving arrest, and who are highly resistant to changing their behavior despite previous sanctions, treatment or education.

The seminar included a presentation using material from the HCDD Community Supervision Guide: A Resource Outlining Supervision Challenges, Effective Strategies, and Model Programs developed by the American Probation and Parole Association (APPA) and funded by The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. The data is clear; high BAC drivers and repeat offenders make up a disproportionate share of drunk drivers. In 2009, seven out of ten drivers involved in an alcohol-impaired fatal crash had a BAC of .15 or above and these drivers were nine times more likely than a non-drinking driver to have a prior conviction for DWI.

An orientation and hands-on training session on the Hardcore Drinking Driver Checklist (HCDD Checklist) which consists of 38 characteristics of hardcore drunk drivers categorized into six dimensions was also part of this seminar.  The HCDD Checklist is based on the research Recognizing, Managing and Containing the “Hard Core Drinking Driver”, and is an instrument that supplements other intake and assessment tools in order to help determine whether an offender’s profile is consistent with that of a hardcore drunk driver. 

These tools can prove helpful in identifying offenders at high risk for recidivism and future alcohol related problems, linking offenders to the best treatment resources, providing post-treatment recovery check-ups and effectively re-intervening in cases of relapse.  Visit APPA’s website to access the free online training course Enhancing Community Supervision Strategies for HCDD.