Why drivers start drinking and driving--a prospective study over a 6-year period in the GAZEL cohort.

Authors:
Aymery Constant, PhD, MPsych
Aymery Constant, PhD, MPsych
EHESP School of Public Health
lecturer
Health psychology and behaviours
Rennes | France

Alcohol Alcohol 2011 Nov-Dec;46(6):729-33. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

INSERM U897-IFR99, Equipe Avenir Prévention et Prise en Charge des Traumatismes, ISPED, Bordeaux, France.

Aims: To estimate the frequency with which a group of formerly safe drivers adopt driving while alcohol-intoxicated (DWI), and to determine the factors associated with DWI adoption.

Methods: Participants were current employees or recent retirees of the French national electricity and gas company. An annual cohort questionnaire that includes two questions about overall alcohol consumption is sent each year to participants. A Driving Behaviour and Road Safety (DBRS) questionnaire was administered in 2001, 2004 and 2007. Only drivers who participated in the 2001 survey received the 2004 and 2007 questionnaires.

Results: More than 462 participants ceased DWI between 2001 and 2007, while 511 adopted this behaviour for the first time. Multivariate analysis showed that the risk of adopting DWI was associated with male gender and with several changes over the preceding years: increased alcohol consumption, increased number of close friends, decreased number of close relatives and decreased attitudes in favour of strict enforcement/regulations.

Conclusion: A large number of offenders stopped DWI between 2001 and 2007, concomitantly with an increased crackdown on road violations in France. But this success was compromised by the occurrence of new drunk drivers. Preventive strategies should target factors that facilitate DWI adoption-in particular, increased alcohol consumption and low acceptance of law enforcement initiatives.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agr126DOI Listing
July 2012
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