Binge Drinking and Drunken Driving (citations)


While binge drinking itself is cause for concern, a new study conducted by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests that a rise in drunken driving in the 18-34 age group is traceable to the growth of binge drinking in that population. 1 “The increase in alcohol-impaired driving episodes,” the lead author Kyran Quinlan concludes, “is probably due, at least in part, to the substantial increase in binge drinking episodes…. Indeed, prevention efforts in the United States are likely to be of limited success unless they are coupled with efforts to also reduce the prevalence of binge drinking.” 2 Despite increased prevention efforts the number of alcohol-impaired driving episodes is greater than before.


The conclusion drawn is that the recent spike in drunken driving, after years of declining fatalities may be the result of increased binge drinking. It logically follows that the tendency to drive after drinking remains high in the 18-34 age group because binge drinking is disproportionately common amongst that population.


1 Quinlan, K.P., Brewer, R.D., Siegel, P., Sleet, D.A., Mokdad, A.H., Shults, R.A. & Flower, N. (2005). Alcohol-impaired driving among U.S. adults, 1993-2002. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 28(4), 346-350.

2 ibid.