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Priorities for Reducing Alcohol-Impaired Driving among Special Populations

Determine the knowledge base of ethnicity and gender on drinking and driving.

Problem: Research suggests that impaired driving norms and driver understanding of impaired driving laws and sanctions may vary by gender and by ethnic group. For example, is drinking and driving viewed as a show of strength and skill? Is it socially acceptable to intervene to prevent an impaired person from driving? Does the group understand the meaning of per se or zero-tolerance laws? What does blood alcohol content (BAC) mean and how many drinks does it take to reach a jurisdiction’s BAC limit? Do drivers think their driving skills are impaired at the legal BAC limit? What is the risk of arrest if you drive after drinking? If arrested, what are the likely consequences?

Objective: This research should study these issues across important ethnic and gender groups, should determine the reasons for critical differences in understanding, and should investigate how to fill in any gaps.