Continuity of drunk and drugged driving behaviors four years post-college

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a leading cause of injury and premature death among young adults, and college-educated individuals are at particularly high risk. Less is known about driving under the influence of other drugs, which is on the rise. This study describes prospective seven-year trends in alcohol and other drug (AOD)-involved driving among a young-adult sample beginning with their second year of college (i.e., Years 2-8), and documents the extent of continuity in such behaviors across time. Originally recruited as incoming first-year students at one large public university, participants (n=1194) were interviewed annually about how frequently they drove while drunk/intoxicated (DWI), after drinking any alcohol (DAD), and/or while under the influence of other drugs (DD). Follow-up rates were high (>75% annually). Among participants with access to drive a car, annual prevalence peaked in Year 4 (modal age 21) for both DWI (24.3%wt) and DD (19.1%wt) and declined significantly thereafter through Year 8 (both ps<0.05). DAD was far more prevalent than DWI or DD, increasing from 40.5%<sub>wt</sub> in Year 2 to 66.9%<sub>wt</sub> in Year 5, and plateauing thereafter. Among marijuana-using participants, likelihood of DD was consistently greater than the likelihood of DWI among Heavy Episodic and Light-to-Moderate drinkers, and it declined significantly during Years 5-8 (p<0.05). Post-college declines in heavy drinking and DWI prevalence were encouraging but did not necessarily translate to reductions in likelihood of engaging in DWI, depending on drinking pattern. College-educated individuals represent an important target for AOD-involved driving prevention.


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  • Accession Number: 01671797
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: May 29 2018 4:23PM