ERIC Number: ED374370
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1991
Reference Count: N/A
Driving While Intoxicated.
Alcohol intoxication increases the risk of highway accidents, the relative risk of crash probability increasing as a function of blood alcohol content (BAC). Because alcohol use is more prevalent than use of other drugs, more is known about the relationship between alcohol use and driving. Most states presume a BAC of .10% to be evidence of drunk driving. Drunk drivers tend to be males less than 24 years old. About twice as many men as women are involved in fatal traffic accidents when BAC is above .10%. Being divorced or separated, having a low income, and having a record of previous DWI arrests and moving violations also correlates statistically with DWI. While moderate to high alcohol dosage affects vision, eye-hand coordination, and reaction time, the most relevant driving-related difficulties are divided-attention tasks. Relative traffic accident risk begins to increase at BACs above .05%, and at .10% is about six times greater than when sober. Three behavioral tests, the Nystagmus Gaze, Walk and Turn, and One-Leg Stand tests, are recommended to determine intoxication. Without such specific tests, it is difficult to determine intoxication below a BAC of .15%, when relative risk of accident is about 20 times greater than when sober. (MSF)
Publication Type: Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Rutgers, The State Univ., New Brunswick, NJ. Center of Alcohol Studies.