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PW 2652 Drinking after driving: an urban 6-country comparison
  1. Ted R Miller1,2
  1. 1Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, Calverton, MD, USA
  2. 2Curtin University, Perth, Australia


Background and objective As part of needs assessment and baseline data collection for AB InBev’s Global Smart Drinking initiative, to ascertain the extent of drink-driving in selected cities in 6 countries.

Methods Gallup designed and fielded a survey instrument. They conducted stratified random sample surveys of people age 18 and over face-to-face at homes in Santa Cruz, Bolivia; Brasilia, Brazii; Jiangshan and Lanxi, China; Zacatecas-Guadalupe and Aguascalientes, Mexico; and by telephone in Columbus, Ohio, Indianapolis Indiana, and Leuven and Antwerp, Belgium. 3000 interviews were completed in each country.

Findings Among those who drank during the past 30 days, the percentage who drove after drinking ranged from 2.7% in China and 5.7% in Bolivia to 24.0% in the United States and 29.0% in Mexico, with Brazil and Belgium between these extremes at 18.1% and 19.1% respectively. Variation between cities within country was modest except in the United States where 21.3% of drinkers in Indianapolis, Indiana and 26.5% of drinkers in Columbus, Ohio drove after drinking. Heavy drinkers were more likely than other drinkers to drive after drinking (relative risk 1.4–2.4). In Bolivia, the rate of driving after drinking was highest at ages 50 and over. Elsewhere, the rate was highest at ages 30–49. The rate was much higher among men than women.

Conclusion and policy implication In part, the differences observed reflect exposure, with motorized vehicle ownership low in China. The cities surveyed in Mexico are on the north-central feeder route for illegal entry to the United States. Visiting them, the need for policy intervention is readily apparent. They have drive-through liquor stores. They lack laws to support fully effective roadside breath testing/sanctioning and open container laws to reduce the pastime of circling the city center while drinking. Zacatecas just legislated earlier bar closing but enforcement resources are scarce.

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