162716 Racial/ethnic differences in alcohol-involvement among drivers fatally injured in traffic crashes: United States, 20032004

Monday, November 5, 2007: 9:06 AM

Hsiao-ye Yi, PhD , Alcohol Epidemiologic Data System, NIAAA/NIH, CSR, Incorporated, Arlington, VA
Ralph W. Hingson, ScD, MPH , National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Judith A. Arroyo, PhD , National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD
Background. Previous research reported considerable racial/ethnic differences in alcohol involvement among drivers killed in traffic crashes during the early 1990s (Voas et al. 2000). Continued efforts in providing detailed epidemiologic information on drinking and driving among racial and ethnic groups are fundamental to effectively addressing alcohol-related health disparities.

Methods. Data for all drivers fatally injured in traffic crashes during 20032004 from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System were analyzed. Alcohol involvement was defined as having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .01g/dl or higher. The proportion of alcohol-involved drivers was compared across racial/ethnic groups, including White, Black, American Indian, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic (with further breaking down by national origin). Characteristics of alcohol-involved drivers were also compared across these groups.

Results. Considerable racial/ethnic differences in drinking and driving persisted. American Indian drivers had the highest alcohol involvement (54%), followed by Hispanics (46%), Blacks (37%), Whites (34%), and Asian/Pacific Islanders (22%). Adjusting for age and gender compositions, the odds for alcohol involvement remained in the same order across these groups. Among alcohol-involved drivers, the average BAC ranged 0.190.16 for these groups in the same order as well. Within Hispanics, substantial variations occurred between subgroups. Compared with White drivers, the odds for alcohol involvement was 40% higher for Mexican drivers, while it was not significantly different for Central/South American drivers and close to 30% lower for Puerto Rican and Cuban drivers.

Implications. Further research is needed to examine reasons for subgroup differences and whether tailored intervention strategies would be more effective.

Learning Objectives:
Participants will learn about racial/ethnic differences in (1) alcohol-involvement among drivers fatally injured in traffic crashes and (2) characteristics of alcohol-involved drivers, and their implications for future research and tailored intervention strategies. Participants will also be able to gain familiarity with the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), the major data source for monitoring trends in alcohol-related fatal traffic crashes in the U.S.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No
Any institutionally-contracted trials related to this submission?

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.