National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors: 2008: Volume 1: Summary Report

National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors: 2008: Volume 1: Summary Report

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  • Alternative Title:
    Volume 1, summary report. National survey of drinking and driving attitudes and behaviors : 2008
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    Summary report; Final report; April 2009-April 2010.
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  • Abstract:
    This report presents results from the eighth in a series of national telephone surveys conducted for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to assess current status and trends regarding the public’s attitudes, knowledge, and self-reported behavior related to drinking and driving. This Volume I: Summary Report, presents key results from the survey, including the reported frequency of drinking and driving, perceptions of drinking and driving as a problem, actions taken to prevent drinking and driving, attitudes and experience with enforcement of the drinking and driving laws, and the perceived effectiveness of different intervention strategies. Volume II: Findings Report provides an in-depth analysis of the topics presented in Volume I, in addition to other topics of interest. Volume III: Methodology Report describes the methods used to conduct the interviews and analyze the data, and includes copies of the questionnaires. Twenty percent of the public age 16 and older had in the past year driven a motor vehicle within 2 hours of drinking alcohol, a number largely unchanged from previous survey years. About two-thirds of these drinking-drivers did so in the past 30 days. Computed national estimates showed the public making 85.5 million drinking-driving trips in the past 30 days. Eight percent of the population had ridden in the past year with a driver they thought had consumed too much alcohol to drive safely, with males 21 to 24 (24%) most likely to report this. Thirty percent of drinking-drivers had driven in the past year when they thought they were over the legal limit for alcohol and driving. More than four-fifths (81%) of the public age 16 and older viewed drinking and driving by others as a major safety threat to themselves and their families. One-third (33%) had ridden with a designated driver in the past year. Forty-four percent of drivers had been a designated driver in the past year. About 1% of the population 16 and older had been arrested for a drinking and driving violation in the past 2 years; the percentage was 5% for males 21 to 24. Four in 10 persons (40%) believed the penalties for violating drinking and driving laws should be much more severe, while an additional 26% believed they should be somewhat more severe. Thirty percent had seen a sobriety checkpoint in the past year. There was a preference that sobriety checkpoints be conducted weekly (40%) or monthly (35%). When asked if there was a national minimum drinking age in the United States, 71% said “yes.” Of those who said there was a minimum legal drinking age, 86% correctly identified it as 21. Of eight intervention strategies read to respondents, alcohol interlocks ranked first in the percentage that believed them very effective in reducing or preventing drunk driving (63%), followed by providing alternate ways for people who have had too much to drink to get home, suspending the license of drunk drivers, and impounding or seizing the vehicle of drunk drivers (all at 54%).
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