Plain English Summary
Background and study aims
One fifth of drivers convicted of drink-driving for the first time will be convicted again for the same offence in subsequent years. Lecture-based educational programs are believed to reduce recidivism (re-offending). The aim of this study is to measure the effects of short lectures with and without the presence of a close relative ‘in class’ on the rates of recidivism during the two years after an initial drink-driving conviction.
Who can participate?
Drivers in the Canton of Geneva convicted of a first-time drink-driving offence.
What does the study involve?
Participants are randomly allocated to attend either: a two-hour series of lectures; a one-hour lecture and a group psychological intervention with a close relative; or to receive written information on the consequences of alcohol consumption. Time until recidivism is retrieved from a national registry for two years after participation.
What are the possible benefits and risks of participating?
Participants benefit from a one-month reduction of the time for which their license is suspended. They will also personally benefit from changing their behaviour towards drink driving given the legal, financial and emotional consequences drink driving can have. There are no known risks related to the intervention.
Where is the study run from?
University Center of Legal Medicine Lausanne-Geneva (Switzerland)
When is the study starting and how long is it expected to run for?
December 2011 to July 2016
Who is funding the study?
Swiss Federal Office for Roads (Switzerland)
Who is the main contact?
Prof. Paul Vaucher
Prof Paul Vaucher
School of Health Sciences Fribourg
University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO)
Rue des Cliniques 15
Effectiveness of an educational program for preventing drinking and driving recidivism: a randomized controlled trial
A short educational program with or without a proxy reduces the hazard of drink driving recidivism within the two first years.
Official state ethical committee (Commission cantonale d'éthique de la recherche du Canton de Genève), December 2010, ref: CER10-214
Single-centre three-armed parallel randomized clinical trial
Primary study design
Secondary study design
Randomised parallel trial
Patient information sheet
See additional files
First time convicted offenders for drink driving with blood alcohol concentration ≥0.8 g/kg and < to 2.5 g/kg
Participants are invited to attend an educational programme on drinking and driving in exchange for a reduction, of one month, of the time for which their license is suspended.
Participants are randomly assigned to either:
1. A two-hour series of lectures. Participants are informed regarding accident statistics, offence-related legal procedures, the consequences of DUI for insurance cover, the medical consequences of heavy drinking, the psychological aspects of alcohol consumption, and behavioural strategies for avoiding DUI recidivism. Class size are limited to 12 participants. Participants receive printed materials on alcohol consumption and consequences at the end of the two-hour lecture. The program is delivered by a psychologist with educational experience. The entire lecture is delivered during one morning.
2. A one-hour lecture and a group psychological intervention with a proxy. Participants are asked to choose, nominate, and bring with them a close relation (proxy) such as their spouse, a companion, or a friend. After receiving a briefer lecture, this group is to expose reasons for changes to an unknown proxy from another pair. They then have to plan a strategy for change with their original proxy.
3. The control group also receive a reduction, of one month, of the time for which their license is suspended and paid for program costs. They however only received written information on alcohol consumption and consequences.
Program costs were paid by the individual drivers (CHF 200).
Primary outcome measure
Time till drink driving recidivism offense with blood alcohol concentration (BAC) ≥0.8 g/kg, retrieved from a national registry that contains details of recidivism that take place up to two years after inclusion.
Secondary outcome measures
Overall trial start date
Overall trial end date
Reason abandoned (if study stopped)
Participant inclusion criteria
1. Over 18 years of age
2. Having one’s driving license suspended for DUI offense
3. Understanding French
4. Being able to read and write
5. Having a potential proxy to attend the course with
Target number of participants
600 (200 per group)
Participant exclusion criteria
BAC ≥2.5 g/kg
Recruitment start date
Recruitment end date
Countries of recruitment
Trial participating centre
University Center of Legal Medicine Lausanne-Geneva, Geneva
Rue Jean-Violette 32
Swiss Federal Office for Roads (Switzerland)
Funding Body Type
Funding Body Subtype
Results and Publications
Publication and dissemination plan
Results are to be published during the first semester of 2017.
Intention to publish date
Participant level data
To be made available at a later date
Basic results (scientific)
- ISRCTN32844180_PIS_French.pdf Uploaded on 19/04/2016