The purpose of this research was to explore the incidence of drug use and driving by the population of South Carolina. The study was limited to licensed drivers, and efforts were concentrated on the 16 to 49 age group. The data obtained is directly applicable only to licensed drivers, but it is highly suggestive of the drug use and driving practices among the general population since 81.6% of the population between age 16 and 49 are licensed drivers. Participants were chosen at random from among the visitors to selected highway departments throughout South Carolina. Projections to the licensed driver population of South Carolina between the ages of 16 and 49 indicate that over 274,000 have driven in the past year after using prescription psychoactives, and over 63,000 have combined prescription drugs with alcohol before driving. A projected 177,600 have driven after using illicit drugs, and over 129,000 have driven after combining illicit drugs with alcohol. Most of these who had driven after using psychoactive drugs did not feel they were seriously impaired, but even among those who did feel somewhat impaired very few ever stopped driving. Most of the respondents felt that a large majority of drivers drive at least once a year while they are under the influence of some drug or medicine. Very few drivers actually know that the DUI law applies to any drugs which impair driving ability. The over-50 age group were more likely to have used prescription drugs and driven afterwards. Their use of other substances was somewhat lower than that of the drivers under age 50, and illicit drug use was negligible among those over 50. Recommendations were made for improved detection, prosecution and treatment measures, and for an increase in public information and education. Further research was recommended to verify the findings of this study relative to the general population.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • South Carolina Plan Interagency Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, Columbia.
  • Corporate Authors:

    South Carolina Committee on Alcohol and Drug Abuse

    P.O. Box 4616
    Columbia, SC  United States  29240

    Alcohol Safety Action Project

  • Authors:
    • Jaeger, J G
    • Fleming, J
    • Appenzeller, G W
  • Publication Date: 1975

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 126 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00130747
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Highway Safety Research Institute
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Apr 21 1977 12:00AM