University of Vermont

Office of Health Promotion Research

OHPR Abstract 17

Abstract 1980-1989

Worden JK, Flynn BS, Merrill DG, Waller JA, Haugh LD. Preventing alcohol-impaired driving through community self-regulation training. Am J Public Health. 1989 Mar;79(3):287-90.

A community education program was designed to train the individual drinker to self-regulate his or her blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) below a level of impairment (.05 g/dl or 11 mmol/L). Drink calculators (cardboard wheels and wallet cards) were disseminated to customers of bars and licensed beverage outlets; bartenders and counter clerks were trained to demonstrate use of the calculators and demonstrations were presented in television spots. Program components were evaluated in three matched Vermont communities, one receiving the full community education program, one receiving the TV spots only, and one serving as control. After six months of intervention, a roadside survey of nighttime drivers (N = 892) indicated 5.3 per cent fewer drivers with BACs above 0.05 g/dl in the community program group and 1.0 per cent fewer in the TV-only group compared to the control group; however, substantially fewer drivers were found above .00 BAC in either program community than in the control. Drivers reporting heavy drinking and youthful drivers both indicated higher utilization of the materials than did other drivers. Although limited in scale and duration, this study suggests that a community education program can be effective in preventing alcohol-impaired driving.

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