Designated driving among college students

Alicia Barr, David Mackinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: We studied the frequency of designated driver use, predictors of designated driver use, whether designated drivers use alcohol, and barriers to using a designated driver. Method: Undergraduates at Arizona State University (N = 544) completed a questionnaire assessing designated driver use. The mean age of participants was 20.6 years old and 52% were male. Criterion for inclusion in the study was that participants had consumed alcohol at least one time. Results: Eighty-six percent (86%) of participants had used a designated driver. Monthly alcohol use and driving to drinking destinations were positively associated with designated driver use. Ninety- four percent of participants indicated that their designated driver occasionally consumed alcohol. The most frequent reason for not using a designated driver was, 'I stayed where I was drinking until I was sober' (37%). Less alcohol use among friends was associated with sounder methods of designated driver selection. Conclusions: Findings suggest those groups at risk for alcohol-related driving accidents tend to use designated drivers at high rates, but these groups tend to choose designated drivers who consume alcohol.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)549-554
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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