Do designated drivers drink? an event-level analysis of impairment levels among designated drivers
Method: We conducted six anonymous field studies during a three-month period in a southeastern college community with 1,071 bar patrons. Alcohol-related behaviors, BrAC, and whether one was serving as a DD were measured. The sample was primarily white (72.7%) male (62.4%) college students (64.7%). Independent sample t-test compared the BrACs of DDs versus non-DDs. A one-way ANOVA examined the differences in the alcohol-related behaviors (AUDIT-C score) across DDs abstaining from drinking (BrAC = 0.00), drinking DDs (BrACs ≥ 0.02 & < 0.05), and impaired DDs (BrACs ≥ 0.05). Logistic regression assessed the impact of alcohol-related behaviors (AUDIT-C) on whether one was serving as a DD.
Results: Of the 165 DDs, approximately 40% did not abstain. Approximately 17% of DDs had BrACs between 0.02 and 0.049, while 18% recorded BrACs at 0.05% or greater. Mean AUDIT-C score for impaired DDs significantly differed from both abstaining DDs and drinking DDs. Participants with greater AUDIT-C scores were more likely to serve as a DD, and have a BrAC that significantly inhibited driving ability and psychomotor function.
Conclusions: These findings identify the need for consensus that a DD must be someone who has abstained from drinking entirely.
Learning Areas:Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Social and behavioral sciences
Identify whether DDs are abstaining from drinking. Explain whether the alcohol consumption of DDs resulted in BrAC levels that impact driving performance or caused psychomotor impairment.
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Barryâs research focuses on alcohol assessment and measurement. His work has been funded by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and appeared in scholarly outlets such as Addictive Behaviors, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. Moreover, national media outlets such as CNN, New York Times, and NBC News, have featured Barryâs work. He is currently an executive editor for the Journal of American College Health.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
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.