THE FINDINGS of the study by Lapham et al1 bear substantial public safety and treatment implications. The methods used by the authors have many strengths, including a large sample size, the use of trained interviewers, standardized assessments, and a comparison with the National Comorbidity Survey that is matched for age, sex, ethnicity, educational level, region of the country, and approximate date of data collection. The subjects seem to be representative of the larger population of DWI (driving while intoxicated) offenders based on the comparisons provided. The fact that the interviews occurred 5 years after the DWI conviction would seem to increase the chances that subjects did not hold back information for fear of adverse consequences. This study also demonstrates the research value of public-use data sets such as the National Comorbidity Survey or the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse.
Woody GE, Forman RF. More Reasons to Buckle Your Seat Belt. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58(10):950–951. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.58.10.950