National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors: 2008: Volume 2: Findings Report
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National Survey of Drinking and Driving Attitudes and Behaviors: 2008: Volume 2: Findings Report

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  • Alternative Title:
    Volume 2, findings report. National survey of drinking and driving attitudes and behaviors : 2008
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    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 (II): Findings Report presents a detailed description of respondents’ behaviors and attitudes including reported frequency of drinking and driving, the characteristics of their most recent drinking-driving occasion, their perceptions of drinking and driving as a problem, actions they have taken to avoid drinking and driving or prevent others from driving impaired, their attitudes and experience with enforcement of the drinking and driving laws, and the perceived effectiveness of different intervention strategies. Volume I: Summary Report presents a summary of these topics. Volume III: Methods Report describes the survey methodology and contains copies of the 2008 survey 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, up from 73.7 million trips in 2004 and reversing a declining trend in such trips since 1995. Males were overrepresented, accounting for 48% of the population 16 and older but 78% of past-month drinking-driving trips. While few persons 16 to 20 reported drinking and driving, those that did tended to acknowledge they were heavy drinkers, an average of 5.7 drinks per normal sitting. However, binge drinking was most common among 21-to-24-year-olds, and males in this age group were most likely to report riding in the past year with a driver who might have had too much alcohol to drive safely (24%). A subset of the total sample was categorized as problem drinkers based on the data. More than one-half (56%) of drinking-drivers that were identified as problem drinkers said they had driven at least once in the past year when they thought they were over the legal limit, compared to 24% of other drinking-drivers. More than four-fifths (81%) of the public 16 and older viewed drinking and driving by others as a major safety threat to themselves and their families. One-third (33%) of all respondents had ridden with a designated driver in the past year, and 44% of drivers had been a designated driver in the past year. One-third of the public believed drivers who have had too much to drink to drive safely will be very likely (21%) or almost certain (12%) to get stopped by the police. Thirty percent had seen a sobriety checkpoint in the past year.
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