This study compares police officers' reported alcohol use with similar reports from age- and gender-matched samples from the general driving population (GDP) and drivers recruited at high-risk hours who are most likely to drink and drive (roadside drivers). Data were derived from interviews with 239 police officers who spent at least 5% of their time on alcohol or traffic enforcement; 243 subjects from the GDP, selected by random-digit dialing; and 249 drivers recruited at roadside on Friday and Saturday nights between 10:00 pm and 3:00 am. Officers report drinking less frequently and in smaller quantities than either of the driver samples. Differences between police and general drivers are modest: e.g., usual frequency of drinking (1 to <3 vs 3 or 4 times/month; p</=.001) and number of days/average month with >/=2 drinks/day (mean=2.5 +/-3.4 vs 4.9 +/-6.5; p</=.001). There are greater differences between police officers and roadside drivers: e.g., 14.2% and 2.4%, respectively, abstain (vs 15.6% of general drivers; police vs general drivers, NS; police and general drivers vs roadside drivers, p</=.001). The data suggest that officers' drinking differs significantly from that of drivers most likely to be driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI). If this is so, police training programs pertaining to DUI and other alcohol-related offenses should pay explicit attention to the effects of alcohol and not assume that all officers have experienced them.

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:

    Alcohol Research Documentation, Incorporated

    P.O. Box 969
    Piscataway, NJ  United States  08854
  • Authors:
    • MEYERS, A R
    • Perrine, M W
  • Publication Date: 1996-3


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 187-192
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00721558
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: HS-042 072
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: May 29 1996 12:00AM