Associations Between Selected State Laws and Teenagers' Drinking and Driving Behaviors

Patricia A. Cavazos-Rehg, Melissa J. Krauss, Edward L. Spitznagel, Frank J. Chaloupka, Mario Schootman, Richard A. Grucza, Laura Jean Bierut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: We examined the associations between selected state-level graduated driving licensing (GDL) laws and use-and-lose laws (laws that allow for the suspension of a driver's license for underage alcohol violations including purchase, possession, or consumption) with individual-level alcohol-related traffic risk behaviors among high school youth. Methods: Logistic regression models with fixed effects for state were used to examine the associations between the selected state-level laws and drinking and driving behaviors youth aged 16 to 17 years (obtained from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS); responses dichotomized as "0 times" or "1 or more times") over an extended period of time (1999 to 2009). Results: A total of 11.7% of students reported having driven after drinking any alcohol and 28.2% reported riding in a car with a driver who had been drinking on 1 or more occasions in the past 30 days. Restrictive GDL laws and use-and-lose laws were associated with decreased driving after drinking any alcohol and riding in a car with a driver who had been drinking alcohol. Conclusions: Restrictive GDL and use-and-lose laws may help to bolster societal expectations and values about the hazards of drinking and driving behaviors and are therefore partly responsible for the decline in these alcohol-related traffic risk behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1647-1652
Number of pages6
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume36
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2012

Keywords

  • Drinking and driving
  • Policy
  • Teenage risk behaviors

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