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1.  Rapid Drinking is Associated with Increases in Driving-Related Risk-Taking 
Human psychopharmacology  2012;27(6):622-625.
The rate of alcohol drinking has been shown to predict impairment on cognitive and behavioral tasks. The current study assessed the influence of speed of alcohol consumption within a laboratory-administered binge on self-reported attitudes toward driving and simulated driving ability.
Forty moderate drinkers (20 female, 20 male) were recruited from the local community via advertisements for individuals who drank alcohol at least once per month. The equivalent of four standard alcohol drinks was consumed at the participant’s desired pace within a two-hour session.
Correlation analyses revealed that, after alcohol drinking, mean simulated driving speed, time in excess of speed limit, collisions, and reported confidence in driving were all associated with rapid alcohol drinking.
Fast drinking may coincide with increased driving confidence due to the extended latency between the conclusion of drinking and the commencement of driving. However, this latency did not reduce alcohol-related driving impairment, as fast drinking was also associated with risky driving.
PMCID: PMC3929598  PMID: 23027650
alcohol drinking; binge drinking; simulated driving; risk-taking
2.  Alcohol Effects on Simulated Driving in Frequent and Infrequent Binge Drinkers 
Human Psychopharmacology  2011;26(3):216-223.
Compared to non-bingers, binge drinkers are more likely to drive while intoxicated. The extent to which binge frequency impacts confidence in driving and subsequent driving impairment is unknown. This study compared the effects of an experimenter-delivered alcohol binge on subjective impairment and simulated driving ability in female High and Low Frequency bingers.
Female drinkers were assigned to High Frequency (n=30) or Low Frequency (n=30) binge groups based on their Alcohol Use Questionnaire responses. At 30-minute intervals within a two-hour period, participants received either a placebo drink (n=15 per group) or a 0.2 g/kg dose of alcohol (n=15 per group; cumulative dose 0.8 g/kg). Self-reported impairment, driving confidence, and simulated driving were then measured.
Self-reported confidence in driving was significantly lower after alcohol than after placebo in Low Frequency but not High Frequency bingers. Self-reported impairment and collisions during simulated driving were significantly greater after alcohol than after placebo in both Low Frequency and High Frequency bingers.
The impairing effects of a single alcohol binge on driving ability in females are not influenced by binge frequency. However, high binge frequency may be associated with a less cautious approach to post-binge driving.
PMCID: PMC3161131  PMID: 21542027
alcohol; automobile driving; binge drinking; subjective effects
3.  Response Inhibition Impairments Predict Alcohol-Induced Sedation 
Aims: The aim of this study was to probe the relationship between the subjective effects of alcohol and impulsive behavior in social drinkers. Methods: Fifty social drinkers performed a response-inhibition task before consuming alcohol. A 0.8-g/kg dose of alcohol was administered in a binge-like fashion (0.2 g/kg every 30 min) to the participants over a 2-h time period. Participants then completed questionnaires measuring stimulation, sedation and mood following consumption of alcohol. Linear regression analyses were performed by examining the relationship between performance on the response inhibition impulsivity task and subjective responses to alcohol (i.e. stimulation, sedation and arousal). Results: There was a significant positive relationship found between impulsive responding and self-reported sedation following alcohol consumption. Additionally, there was a significant negative relationship between behavioral impulsivity and self-reported stimulation and arousal following alcohol consumption. Conclusion: These results suggest that higher levels of impulsivity are associated with experiencing greater sedating than stimulating effects of alcohol. Individuals with high levels of impulsivity may be less sensitive to the stimulating effects of a specified dose of alcohol, which could lead to these individuals consuming more alcohol to experience the stimulating effects of alcohol.
PMCID: PMC3002846  PMID: 21127353

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