The limited utility of BAC for identifying alcohol-related problems among DWI offenders

J Stud Alcohol. 1992 Sep;53(5):415-9. doi: 10.15288/jsa.1992.53.415.


To see if blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a significant indicator of problem drinking or an alcohol-related diagnosis, the relationships between BAC at arrest for drinking and driving, typical drinking, alcohol-related problems, problem drinking and an alcohol abuse or dependence diagnosis were examined for 235 drinking and driving offenders referred for alcoholism evaluation. BAC and typical drinking correlated weakly and no significant relationship between alcohol-related problems and BAC was found. Further, no significant relationship was found between BAC and alcohol abuse or dependence diagnoses, or between problem drinking and BAC. These findings cast doubt on the usefulness of a single report of BAC for diagnostic and screening purposes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / blood*
  • Alcoholism / diagnosis
  • Automobile Driving / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales