Based on self-reported smoking behaviour, the subjects were divided into non-smokers, ex-smokers and smokers who smoked ≤10 cigarettes per day, 11–19 cigarettes per day and ≥20 cigarettes per day.
For evaluating alcohol consumption habits, the questionnaire contained items about the frequency of using strong and light alcoholic drinks during the previous year on a 6-point scale (none, some times during the year, one to three times per month, one to two times per week, three to four times per week, almost every day).
Conclusions: Our results support the notion that drunk driving is the result of a combination of various behavioural, biological and personality-related risk factors.) Although drunk driving has decreased in many countries during the past 20 years (European Transport Safety Council, 2001), alcohol consumption is still one of the main causative factors in road traffic accidents.
Alcohol impairs the reaction time of the drunk drivers and their ability to estimate risks adequately, and drunk driving is considered to be a serious violation of traffic law.
Nevertheless, empirical support for such assumptions is scarce.
We have compared a group of police-referred drunk drivers with a group of controls, taking into account self-reported drinking and driving, socio-economic variables, usual alcohol consumption, smoking, other risky traffic behaviour habits, impulsivity measures and platelet MAO activity.Driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI) group ( = 211, mean age 36 ± 12 years) was selected by a computerized random choice from the driving licence database of the Estonian Motor Vehicle Registration Centre.Subjects were contacted by telephone and a description of the study was provided.Several studies have found that drunk driving is associated with a lower income (Baum, 2000; Golias and Karlaftis, 2002), a lower educational level and is more frequent among blue-collar workers (Baum, 2000).However, some studies have not found any association between drunk driving and socio-economic measures (Wilson and Jonah, 1985; Grunewald, 1996).Eight subjects recruited as controls had an earlier record of drunk driving in the police database, and were moved into the DWI group.The Ethics Committee at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Tartu approved this study.Subjects reported their socio-economic status, smoking, alcohol use habits and traffic behaviour in a self-reported questionnaire.Questions about socio-economic background included marital status, education, monthly income, occupation and religiousness.Aims: The aim of the study was to characterize the predictive value of socio-economic data, alcohol consumption measures, smoking, platelet monoamine oxidase (MAO) activity, traffic behaviour habits and impulsivity measures for actual drunk driving.Methods: Data were collected from 203 male drunk driving offenders and 211 control subjects using self-reported questionnaires, and blood samples were obtained from the two groups.