Drinking and Driving
A. Peleg, P. Shvartzman, R. Peleg
Dept. of Family Medicine, and Dept. of Epidemiology, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheba
A worrisome connection between driving and drinking was found in 166 people randomly surveyed in public places in Beer Sheba. 80% of the study population stated that they drink alcoholic beverages. Of these, 45% reported drinking at least once a week, and 21% drank 3 glasses/cans at each drinking bout. We noted a trend among those who drank frequently to drink greater amounts. Of the sample, 110 interviewees stated that they had a driver's license and that they drank alcoholic drinks. 39% reported driving after a number of alcoholic drinks, and 23% of them did so invariably or frequently. 5% drank while driving. The drinkers exhibited a high-risk behavioral pattern, remaining in the car with friends (53%) or relatives (16%) also under the influence of alcohol. Those who are aware of the influence of alcohol on their driving skills and the danger of being involved in car accidents, moderate their consumption of alcohol. The results of the study confirm our hypothesis that there is an upswing in the phenomenon of high-risk driving connected with drinking alcoholic beverages.