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Objectives: In 1999, alcohol related motor vehicle crashes in the United States claimed 15 786 lives and injured more than 300 000 persons. Drinking and driving behavior is shaped by individual and environmental level influences. In this study, the association between each state's driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) countermeasures and self reported alcohol impaired driving was explored.
Methods: Mothers Against Drunk Driving's (MADD's) Rating the States 2000 survey, which graded states on their DUI countermeasures from 1996–99, was used as an index of each state's comprehensive DUI prevention activities. Information on alcohol impaired driving from residents of each state was obtained from the 1997 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey. The association between the MADD state grades and alcohol impaired driving was assessed using multiple logistic regression.
Results: Of the 64 162 BRFSS respondents who reported drinking any alcohol during the past month, 2.1% of women and 5.8% of men reported at least one episode of alcohol impaired driving in the past month. Those living in states with a MADD grade of "D" were 60% more likely to report alcohol impaired driving than those from states with a MADD grade of "A" (odds ratio 1.6, 95% confidence interval 1.3 to 2.1). The association existed for men and women.
Conclusion: These findings suggest that stronger state level DUI countermeasures are associated with lower rates of self reported alcohol impaired driving.