Growing Numbers of Binge Drinkers Getting Behind the Wheel
A recent Science Daily post reported that more than one in ten people who binge drink get behind the wheel of a car during or just after they have completed their binge. For those who binge and then drive, more than half have done their drinking in a bar, restaurant or club.
“Drinking in bars and clubs is a huge independent factor in binge drinking,” said lead study author Timothy Naimi, M.D., in Science Daily. “This study marks a failure of public health in the U.S., and one that is notable for the lack of will and resources devoted to enforcing even existing laws and alcohol control policies.”
These findings are the result of a study conducted by researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Data was examined from a CDC telephone survey conducted in 2003 and 2004. More than 14,000 adults reported to researchers that they had engaged in binge drinking in the previous 30 days.
According to Niami, this study ties drinking patterns to subsequent driving explicitly, demonstrating this is a growing problem. Niami noted there are 48 states with laws in place to prevent the sale of more alcohol to individuals who are obviously intoxicated. By contrast, study respondents had an average of eight drinks at a time; more than 25 percent had ten or more.
“Many of these folks were demonstrably hammered, yet got served more alcohol — at a terrible cost to society,” he said. “This study highlights alcohol-service activity that is clearly irresponsible and that places law-abiding establishments at a competitive disadvantage.”