Association with Anti-Social Peers Inversely Related to DUI

Most research on drunk driving tends to come from various social science communities focused on driving safety or substance abuse. Most individuals do not perceive a DUI as they would a normal “street crime”; and as a result there is very little research looking at the criminological concepts. Alcohol is seen as a social lubricant and its use is widespread in our culture. Driving under the influence often begins with attendance of a sporting event, having drinks at a bar, or just meeting some buddies for drinks after a day of work. This results in some individuals drinking enough to be over the legal limit and then continue to get behind the wheel. Repeat DUI offending is commonly thought of as a byproduct of alcoholism or substance abuse. Although alcohol addiction may be related to recidivism, it cannot on its own provide a decent explanation as to why some individuals never get arrested for DUI, or only once, and others are arrested 3-4 or more times in a matter of a couple years. Many researchers believe that there are actually more complex social and psychological cognitive processes… Read More

Police Enforcement Intensity & DUI

Various articles have been written exploring the associations between increased police activities and a reduction in DUI related crashes and fatalities. A review by James Fell and colleagues attempted to quantitatively measure increased policing efforts and determine if there was a relationship or reduction in DUI’s and DUI’s resulting in crash or jury; number of checkpoints, special DUI/DWI patrols, and arrests are all variables that were considered in the analysis. Various other law enforcement strategies were considered: specific deterrence, general deterrence, highly visible traffic enforcement, enforcement presence, and overall traffic enforcement. Specific deterrence refers to the annual number of DUI arrests per capita within the jurisdiction. General deterrence examined the frequency and duration of field sobriety checkpoints. Highly visible traffic enforcement looked at the annual number of traffic stops per capita. Enforcement presence is defined in the study as the number of sworn police officers per capita. Overall traffic enforcement was focused on the annual number of other traffic citations, examples include: warnings, seatbelt violations, speeding tickets and other moving violations. Each of these variables was compared together and individually to the rates of DUI. The 2007… Read More

Energy Drinks, Alcohol, and DUI

A Comparison of the Combined-Use of Alcohol & Energy Drinks to Alcohol-Only on High-Risk Drinking and Driving Behaviors Energy Drinks Since the introduction of the first energy drink in the United States in 1997, the marketing and sale of these drinks has grown exponentially. In 2006 alone, more than 500 new energy drinks were introduced to the market resulting in billions of dollars in profit. Energy drink manufacturers share similar marketing techniques with the alcohol industry, largely aiming to advertise to young adults between 18 and 24. The sizes of energy drink containers range from 2-20 oz containers; many of the 2 oz energy drink shots are concentrated with stimulants and some are actually stronger than their larger counterparts. It is not uncommon to see a variety of herbal ingredients on labels, including: ginseng, ginko biloba, yohimbine, evodamine, yerba mate, milk thistle, taurine, and guarna. Ginseng, yohimbine HCL, and evodamine have been found to cause enhanced synergistic effects with caffeine, and pose a risk for “serious prescription drug interactions and neurological effects.” Caffeine is the most well-known and heavily researched stimulant in energy drinks, coming in concentrations… Read More

Alcohol & Mind Wandering | DUI

DUI | Alcohol and Mind Wandering Alcohol has been shown to be one of the leading causes of fatal car accidents; around 58% of drivers involved in fatal crashes were found to be driving under the influence of alcohol in a research review article. An article written by Michael Sayette and colleagues in Psychological Science, suggests a factor contributing to the commonality of DUI arrests: mind wandering. What is Mind Wandering? Mind wandering can be defined as an experience in which an individual is unable to focus on a single topic or activity; the ability to stay focused is important, especially when engaged in an attention-demanding task like driving a vehicle. Sometimes, you may be able to catch yourself mind wandering, and will be able to consciously re-focus your attention on the task at hand. Other times, you may not be able to catch yourself for a certain amount of time. Generally, the older the individual, the longer it takes to catch mind wandering. Half of the participants reached a .05% blood alcohol level before starting the study, and the other half drank a placebo that had… Read More

DUI & DWI | Fatal Car Accident

Probabilities Of a Fatal Car Accident |  DUI & DWI The Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs publishes peer-reviewed research studies and review articles with various topics involving alcohol and other illicit substances. In an article written by Eduardo Romano and his colleagues titled Drugs and Alcohol: Their Relative Crash Risk, the effects drugs and alcohol on the probability of being involved in a fatal car accident are compared. Two studies were conducted with the help of data from the U.S. Fatality Analysis Reporting System and the National Roadside Survey. One study compares the risks of alcohol to the risk of various other drugs. The second study separated marijuana from the drug category, and compares the risks of all three: alcohol, marijuana, and various other drugs. What did the Researchers Find? Around 58% of drivers that were involved in fatal accidents were driving under the influence of alcohol. Another 20% of drivers involved in traffic fatalities tested positive for other various drugs. Researchers also found statistically significant unadjusted Odds Ratios for both alcohol and drugs. “The unadjusted Odds Ratio of a drugged driver being involved in… Read More