Over time, there have been numerous studies investigating the criminal justice system as it relates to driving while intoxicated (DWI). Judges adjudicating DWI cases, especially those involving hardcore offenders, face a myriad of challenges, including interpretation of constantly evolving law and of complex technical and medical-based evidence. Many judges are not aware of the innovative and effective sentencing options that are available to them.

This second edition of The Hardcore Drunk Driving Judicial Guide has been expanded to include programs, emerging issues and practices such as the traffic safety resource prosecutor program, the judicial outreach liaison program, continuous transdermal alcohol testing, proliferation of alcohol ignition interlocks both in the car and for use in offender’s homes, no refusal programs, and 24/7 sobriety programs, to name a few. All of these issues are addressed in this new edition of The Hardcore Drunk Driving Judicial Guide and will appear in the pages that follow.

Successful approaches to stop hardcore drunk driving require a comprehensive system that provides for swift identification, certain punishment and effective treatment. The judicial community is uniquely positioned to lead the effort to reduce hardcore drunk driving through strong, consistent sentencing and creative, comprehensive sanctions. These measures not only sanction the offender and protect the public but also promote behavior changes leading to reduced recidivism. See Appendix B for The National Hardcore Drunk Driver Project’s National Agenda: A System to Fight Hardcore DWI.

However, judges are but one component of the criminal justice system and cannot effectively address hardcore drunk driving alone. For this reason, The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility worked to include additional criminal justice stakeholders such as prosecutors, community supervision and law enforcement in its judicial education program. All of The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility’s educational resources are available free of charge and can be accessed online.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility (FAAR), founded in 1991, is a national not-for-profit organization funded by America’s leading distillers to fight drunk driving and underage drinking. The Foundation develops and implements innovative programs and public awareness campaigns and promotes action through strategic partnerships.


The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility is tremendously grateful for the expertise and advice of our Judicial Education Advisory Panel members who have given their time and talent to help us educate judges across the nation. The Advisory Panel was created to examine the judiciary’s critical role in reducing hardcore drunk driving.

Mr. Paul Biderman

The Honorable Ernest Borunda, Ms. Pam Castaldi

The Honorable Richard Culver

The Honorable Jim Dehn

The Honorable Michael Fields

The Honorable Karl Grube

The Honorable Birdie Jamison

Mr. Thomas Langhorne

The Honorable Christopher McNeil

The Honorable Robert Pirraglia

The Honorable John Sherman

The Honorable William Todd.

The Judicial Education Advisory Comittee comprises a national panel of judges and judicial educators who are recognized experts on the drunk driving issue. Together they examine key adjudication issues and opportunities and identify effective strategies.

About the term: DWI

The DWI acronym is used throughout this guide as a catch-all term for convenience and consistency, although some status use other terminology, such as DUI (driving under the influence), OUI (operating under the influence), OWI (operating while impaired) and impaired driving.