Alcohol policies and impaired driving in the United States: Effects of driving- vs. drinking-oriented policies

  • Ziming Xuan Boston University School of Public Health
  • Jason G. Blanchette Boston Medical Center
  • Toben F. Nelson University of Minnesota School of Public Health
  • Timothy C. Heeren oston University School of Public Health
  • Thien H. Nguyen Boston University School of Public Health
  • Timothy S. Naimi Boston University School of Public Health
Keywords: Alcohol policy, alcohol-impaired driving, public health law, binge drinking

Abstract

Xuan, Z., Blanchette, J., Nelson, T., Heeren, T., Nguyen, T., & Naimi, T. (2015). Alcohol policies and impaired driving in the United States: Effects of driving- vs. drinking-oriented policies. The International Journal Of Alcohol And Drug Research, 4(2), 119-130. doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v4i2.205

Aims: To test the hypotheses that stronger policy environments are associated with less impaired driving and that driving-oriented
and drinking-oriented policy subgroups are independently associated with impaired driving.

Design: State-level data on 29 policies in 50 states from 2001-2009 were used as lagged exposures in generalized linear
regression models to predict self-reported impaired driving.

Setting: Fifty United States and Washington, D.C.

Participants: A total of 1,292,245 adults (≥ 18 years old) biennially from 2002–2010.

Measures: Alcohol Policy Scale scores representing the alcohol policy environment were created by summing policies weighted
by their efficacy and degree of implementation by state-year. Past-30-day alcohol-impaired driving from 2002–2010 was
obtained from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys.

Findings: Higher Alcohol Policy Scale scores are strongly associated with lower state-level prevalence and individual-level risk of impaired driving. After accounting for driving-oriented policies, drinking-oriented policies had a robust independent association with reduced likelihood of impaired driving. Reduced binge drinking mediates the relationship between drinking-oriented policies and impaired driving, and driving-oriented policies reduce the likelihood of impaired driving among binge drinkers.

Conclusions: Efforts to reduce alcohol-impaired driving should focus on reducing excessive drinking in addition to preventing driving among those who are impaired.

Author Biographies

Ziming Xuan, Boston University School of Public Health
Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Jason G. Blanchette, Boston Medical Center
Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
Toben F. Nelson, University of Minnesota School of Public Health
Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, University of Minnesota School of Public Health, Minneapolis, MN
Timothy C. Heeren, oston University School of Public Health
Department of Biostatistics, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Thien H. Nguyen, Boston University School of Public Health
Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA
Timothy S. Naimi, Boston University School of Public Health

Department of Community Health Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston, MA


Section of General Internal Medicine, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA

Published
2015-12-18
How to Cite
Xuan, Z., Blanchette, J. G., Nelson, T. F., Heeren, T. C., Nguyen, T. H., & Naimi, T. S. (2015). Alcohol policies and impaired driving in the United States: Effects of driving- vs. drinking-oriented policies. The International Journal of Alcohol and Drug Research, 4(2), 119-130. https://doi.org/10.7895/ijadr.v4i2.205
Section
Papers