In Germany, license restoration after serious or repeated offenses requires a positive Medical Psychological Assessment (MPA), a test to determine the driver's aptitude. Fulfilling the conditions necessary for a positive MPA often takes longer than the period of license revocation, which is perhaps due to the involvement of different personal, organizational, and environmental factors. To optimize the rehabilitation process, the present study analyzed the key aspects of successful rehabilitation after repeated or serious driving offenses.
After participating in the MPA, 1,631 subjects completed a questionnaire about rehabilitation efforts in order to regain their driver aptitude. The selection of items for this questionnaire was made according to our own prior research, interviews with problem drivers, and the diagnostic criteria for the MPA. Participants were asked when and from whom they obtained certain information, and how relevant this information was for their success. In contrast to other studies, which used re-offense rates as a criterion for successful rehabilitation, we used a positive MPA result (positive, negative, or training) as the criterion for success.
- Just over half (52%) of the participants considered themselves optimally informed about the rehabilitation process.
- The others (47.4% of participants) judged the adequacy of received information as less than satisfactory.
- Offenders who did not partake in counseling before the MPA achieved a successful result only about half as often (37.1%) as those who did (70%),
- and were around three times as likely to have additional courses imposed upon them (21% vs. 7.6%).
- Of the offenders who received crucial and helpful information at an early stage, 62.4% attained a positive MPA at the first attempt (regardless of having attended any training courses).
The results clearly indicate that the provision of relevant information at an early stage combined with counseling has a beneficial influence on success rates for the rehabilitation process (an increase from 37.1% to 81%). As such, we recommend the introduction of obligatory license consultations, offered by MPA experts, involving a status assessment to customize offenders' rehabilitation and thereby provide more or less intensive guidance or coaching depending on offenders' characteristics throughout their progression through the MPA system.
- 1a Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-University of Greifswald , Department Health and Prevention, Section: Social & Organizational Psychology , Franz-Mehring-Str. 47, D-17487 Greifswald , Germany.