1986-02-24

Drunk Driving Prevention: Knowing When to Say When 860359

Five field studies are described which explored environment-behavior relationships related to alcohol-impaired driving. The experiments were conducted in a university community and were designed to provide information that might be useful in the development of interventions to help drinkers of alcoholic beverages “know when to say when” and thereby reduce the risk of drunk driving. Naturalistic observations of beer drinking at bars and parties demonstrated: 1) more consumption of beer when it was served in pitchers (compared with bottles and cups); 2) a tendency to underestimate blood alcohol concentration (BAC) with increasing BAC; 3) higher BAC's from students who obtained BAC feedback; 4) inverse relationships between BAC and latencies between party arrival and first beer, and between party departure and last drink; and 5) the potential of certain performance tasks to predict BAC. Follow-up studies are suggested to further the development of strategies for teaching and motivating socially responsible drinking.

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