Perceived safety of cannabis intoxication predicts frequency of driving while intoxicated

Jacob T. Borodovsky, Lisa A. Marsch, Emily A. Scherer, Richard A. Grucza, Deborah S. Hasin, Alan J. Budney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Driving under the influence of cannabis (DUIC) is a public health concern, and data are needed to develop screening and prevention tools. Measuring the level of intoxication that cannabis users perceive as safe for driving could help stratify DUIC risk. This study tested whether intoxication levels perceived as safe for driving predicted past-month DUIC frequency. Online survey data were collected in 2017 from a national sample of n = 3010 past-month cannabis users with lifetime DUIC (age 18+). Respondents indicated past-month DUIC frequency, typical cannabis intoxication level (1–10 scale), and cannabis intoxication level perceived as safe for driving (0–10 scale). Approximately 24%, 38%, 13%, and 24% of respondents engaged in DUIC on 0, 1–9, 10–19, and 20–30 days respectively in the past month. Among these four DUIC frequency groups, median typical intoxication varied little (5–6), but median intoxication perceived as safe for driving varied widely (3–8). Higher intoxication levels perceived as safe for driving corresponded to frequent DUIC (Spearman's rho: 0.46). For each unit increase in intoxication level perceived as safe for driving, the odds of past-month DUIC increased 18% to 68% (multinomial logistic regression odds ratio - MOR1 9 days: 1.18, 95% CI: 1.13–1.23; MOR10 19 days: 1.40, 95% CI: 1.30–1.50; MOR20 30 days: 1.68, 95% CI: 1.57–1.80). In this targeted sample of past-month cannabis users, DUIC frequency varied widely, but daily/near-daily DUIC was common (24%). Measuring intoxication levels perceived as safe for driving permits delineation of past-month DUIC frequency. This metric has potential as a component of public health prevention tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105956
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume131
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2020

Keywords

  • Cannabis
  • Driving under the influence
  • Intoxication
  • Marijuana
  • Risk perception

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