Identifying factors that increase the likelihood of driving after drinking among college students

Accid Anal Prev. 2011 Jul;43(4):1371-7. doi: 10.1016/j.aap.2011.02.011. Epub 2011 Mar 26.


Driving after drinking (DAD) is a serious public health concern found to be more common among college students than those of other age groups or same-aged non-college peers. The current study examined potential predictors of DAD among a dual-site sample of 3753 (65% female, 58% Caucasian) college students. Results showed that 19.1% of respondents had driven after 3 or more drinks and 8.6% had driven after 5 or more drinks in the past 3 months. A logistic regression model showed that male status, fraternity or sorority affiliation, family history of alcohol abuse, medium or heavy drinking (as compared to light drinking), more approving self-attitudes toward DAD, and alcohol expectancies for sexual enhancement and risk/aggression were independently associated with driving after drinking over and above covariates. These results extend the current understanding of this high risk drinking behavior in collegiate populations and provide implications for preventive strategies. Findings indicate that in addition to targeting at-risk subgroups, valuable directions for DAD-related interventions may include focusing on lowering both self-approval of DAD and alcohol-related expectancies, particularly those associated with risk/aggression and sexuality.

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology
  • Alcohol Drinking / psychology*
  • Automobile Driving*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Dangerous Behavior
  • Female
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Report
  • Students / psychology*
  • United States
  • Universities
  • Young Adult