The present paper examines drinking drivers' estimates of their own blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and compares these estimates with the results of breath tests for alcohol. The data were collected from 483 drivers who had a positive BAC and provided an estimate of their BAC as part of a voluntary roadside survey of nighttime drivers conducted in Minnesota during September, 1990. Overall, 50% of drinking drivers under-estimated their BAC; 32% over-estimated. Virtually all drivers (94%) who had a BAC in excess of the legal limit (ie greater than 0.10%) under-estimated their BAC. These data provide the first empirical demonstration that drivers on the road with high BACs are more likely than low BAC drivers to under-estimate their BAC. Training programs directed at those who under-estimate BAC may help reduce errors in estimating both BAC and the perceived degree of cognitive and behavioral impairment that may contribute to inappropriate decisions about driving after consuming too much alcohol. (A)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine

    Huddinge University Hospital Center, Traffic Medicine Center
    Stockholm,   Sweden  141 86
  • Authors:
    • Beirness, D J
    • Foss, R D
    • Voas, R B
  • Publication Date: 1993


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 73-8
  • Serial:
    • Journal of traffic medicine
    • Volume: 21
    • Issue Number: 2
    • Publisher: International Association for Accident and Traffic Medicine
    • ISSN: 0345-5564

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00638636
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Nov 24 1993 12:00AM