Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 2012 Dec;107(12):2109-14.
doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2012.03974.x. Epub 2012 Aug 10.

Acute Alcohol Effects on Impulsivity: Associations With Drinking and Driving Behavior

Affiliations
Free PMC article

Acute Alcohol Effects on Impulsivity: Associations With Drinking and Driving Behavior

Denis M McCarthy et al. Addiction. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Aims: Although drink drivers exhibit higher levels of trait impulsivity, no studies have tested the hypothesis that drink drivers experience increased impulsivity while intoxicated. We tested this hypothesis for two impulsivity constructs: delay discounting and behavioral inhibition.

Design: A within-subjects study comparing performance of drink drivers and non-drink drivers on behavioral measures of impulsivity in alcohol and no-beverage sessions.

Setting: A laboratory setting at the University of Missouri.

Participants: Twenty-nine young adults who were at least moderate drinkers were recruited from the local community and the University of Missouri.

Measurements: Impulsivity was assessed using the Two Choice Impulsivity Paradigm (TCIP) and the Stop-Signal Task. Participants also completed self-report measures of binge drinking and trait impulsivity.

Findings: In the no-beverage session, TCIP impulsive choices did not differ between drinking and driving groups (P = 0.93). In the alcohol session, drink drivers made more TCIP impulsive choices on both the ascending (P < 0.01) and descending limb (P < 0.01) of the blood alcohol concentration curve than their peers who did not drink and drive. Drinking and driving groups did not differ on the Stop-Signal Task. Supplementary analyses indicated that effects for the TCIP were not explained by individual differences in trait impulsivity.

Conclusions: Individuals who report having three or more drinks before driving show greater impulsivity when under the influence of alcohol than those who do not report heavy drinking before driving.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Delay discounting immediate choices by drinking and driving group across no-beverage and alcohol sessions. Error bars are based on the standard error of the mean.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 16 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

Publication types

Feedback