In this study, we sought to assist probation officers in their efforts to reduce the risk that offenders on probation would re-commit the offense of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. We prototyped a support system called SoberMotion, in which a breathalyzer is connected to the offender's smart phone via Bluetooth. Development of the system was based on pilot interviews with probation officers, psychiatrists, and offenders aimed at identifying the challenges and opportunities associated with this type of technology-based support mechanism. A corresponding phone app logs alcohol use behavior and identifies situations in which offenders should evaluate their sobriety before operating a vehicle. We conducted a two-month field study involving eight DUI offenders on probation, with the aim of evaluating the feasibility of the SoberMotion system. Our results indicate that most of the participants who drank alcohol while following the program performed multiple alcohol screening tests before operating a vehicle in order to avoid re-committing DUI. Responses collected via qualitative interviews indicate that SoberMotion is an effective approach to extending the power of probation officers seeking to reduce the risk of DUI recidivism.
- mobile support system
- alcohol dependence
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Drunk driving