THE SOCIAL CONTROL OF DRINKING-DRIVING: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF BAR SETTINGS

Rather than being considered merely an illegal act, the drinking-driving phenomenon can be viewed as a form of social behavior, governed by a set of socially shared rules. This article reports a study which identifies these rules through observation of individuals participating in drinking-driving behavior in four different settings: a close-knit neighborhood bar, a neighborhood bar that draws on a larger population, a social club, and "a fairly fashionable watering hole." The study indicates that the particular social and economic environment of the drinking establishment influences drinking-driving behavior. The intimacy of the neighborhood bar allows the bartender to exert control over drinking and assist in finding alternatives to driving. As the practical possibilities for contact with the bartender are reduced, the ability for the drinking establishment to control drinking-driving is lessened. Moreover, the economic reality in all-bars--the need to sell drinks--takes precedence over controlling drinking-driving. Alternative countermeasures which take into account these social rules of drinking-driving are suggested as preferable policy developments.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Blackwell Publishers

    108 Cowley Road
    Oxford,   United Kingdom  OX4 1JF
  • Authors:
    • Gusfield, J R
    • Rasmussen, P
    • Kotarba, J A
  • Publication Date: 1984-1

Media Info

  • Features: References;
  • Pagination: p. 45-66
  • Serial:
    • Law and Policy
    • Volume: 6
    • Issue Number: 1
    • Publisher: Blackwell Publishers

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00394035
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-037 765
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 31 1985 12:00AM