Alcolocks: factors influencing implementation, participation and compliance

Literature review contributed to the EU project Alcolock Implementation in the European Union
Mathijssen, René
In 2004-2005, a series of alcolock field trials were conducted in four European countries, in the framework of the EU research project Alcolock Implementation in the European Union. This project was granted by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Energy and Transport (DG-TREN). As part of the project, SWOV conducted a literature review of alcolock programmes, aimed at identifying the most important factors influencing acceptance, implementation, participation and compliance. The results of the literature review can be considered as complementary to the results of the field trials. Regarding the acceptance and implementation of alcolocks for drink driving offenders, the following factors play an important role and should be addressed accordingly: - The cost of alcolock programmes to participants. - Increased recidivism rates after alcolock removal from the vehicle. - Opposition by the criminal justice system. With respect to participation and compliance, the 'ideal' alcolock programme for drink driving offenders based on findings in the literature would be: - Mandatory, successful completion of the programme being a condition of full licence reinstatement. - Tailored to distinctive target groups (varying from first to alcohol-dependent offenders). - Flexible in duration. - Not preceded by a (lengthy) period of hard suspension. - Administered by licensing authorities. - Recorded on the driver's licence. - Regularly monitored, including medical assessments for alcohol-dependent drivers. - Combined with some kind of rehabilitation. Commercial alcolock programmes seem to be easier to implement than offender programmes. In Sweden, after the introduction of a small-scale demonstration project subsidized by the government, implementation was successfully left to market parties. Alcolocks were promoted as a tool for quality assurance. Discomfort to the drivers and the risk of economic loss to the fleet owners were minimized by programming the alcolocks' software accordingly. At an early stage, discussions were arranged between public and private parties and interest groups (like trade unions), and actual alcolock users and their social environment were informed.
Report number
SWOV, Leidschendam

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