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Stronger State DUI Prevention Activities May Reduce Alcohol-Impaired Driving

Strong state activities designed to prevent driving under the influence (DUI), including legislation, enforcement, and education, may reduce the incidence of drinking and driving, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The study, published in the June 2002 issue of Injury Prevention, found that in states that are working more actively to prevent DUI, fewer drivers reported drinking and driving.

Study Findings

CDC analyzed data from a national telephone survey, the 1997 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), and the Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Rating the States 2000 survey, which graded states on their DUI countermeasures from 1996–1999. Results showed that residents of states with a MADD grade of “D” were 60% more likely to report alcohol-impaired driving than were residents from states with a MADD grade of “A”. MADD based the grades on 11 categories of prevention measures, including DUI legislation, political leadership, availability of statistics and records, resources devoted to enforcing DUI laws, administrative penalties and criminal sanctions, regulatory control and availability of alcohol, youth DUI legislation, prevention and education, and victim compensation and support.

The study also found that:

  • Of the residents who consume alcohol, 4.2% reported that they had driven after having too much to drink at least once during the previous month. 
  • Men were nearly three times as likely as women to report alcohol–impaired driving.
  • Single people were about 50% more likely to report alcohol–impaired driving than married people or those living with a partner. 

Shults RA, Sleet DA, Elder RW, Ryan GW, Sehgal M. Association between state level drinking and driving countermeasures and self reported alcohol impaired driving. Injury Prevention 2002;8:106–10.

For Further Information

For more information about CDC's Injury Programs visit CDC's Injury Center website.

For specific information about CDC's work in alcohol–impaired driving, visit CDC's impaired driving fact sheet.

For more information on Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), visit the MADD web site .

For more information about the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), visit the BRFSS website .

1 in 3 crash diver deaths involves a drunk driver. CDC Vital Signs.
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