Factors associated with planned avoidance of alcohol-impaired driving in high-risk men

Toben F. Nelson, Nancy E. Isaac, Bruce P. Kennedy, John D. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Objective: This study examines the factors associated with planning to avoid alcohol-impaired driving and successful avoidance in high-risk young men. Method: A targeted telephone survey was conducted with male drivers aged 21-35 years who consume alcohol and live in areas of the country where alcohol-related traffic fatalities occur frequently (N = 750). Heavy episodic drinking drivers (i.e., report driving after consuming five or more drinks) were oversampled (N = 230). Respondents were surveyed to assess their attitudes, behavior and social support regarding drinking-driving. Results: Multiple logistic regression revealed that men who believe they can consume six drinks or more before it is too dangerous for them to drive were 45% less likely to report planning to avoid drinking-driving. Men who believe they can drive safely after heavy episodic drinking were 61% less likely to be successful in avoiding drinking-driving. Having friends who disapprove of driving after heavy episodic drinking and believing a close friend would be successful in preventing drinking-driving were significantly associated with making plans to avoid drinking-driving, although this association was less strong for successful avoidance. Men who had their wife/girlfriend along when they were out drinking were two and one-half times more likely to make plans to avoid drinking-driving. The presence of a wife or girlfriend was an even stronger predictor (multivariate odds ratio = 3.74) of successful avoidance. Conclusions: Attitude and social factors are associated with drinking- driving avoidance in a group of young men at risk for alcohol-related driving fatalities. Friends and wives/girlfriends appear to influence drinking- driving avoidance behavior in high-risk drinking drivers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1999


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