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J Am Coll Health. 2012;60(4):310-5. doi: 10.1080/07448481.2011.599351.

A study of alcohol use by designated drivers among college students.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.



College students tend to drink while serving as a designated driver (DD). The predictors of alcohol use by DDs among college students were examined.


Participants were 119 undergraduate students in introductory psychology courses who had experience with DD use.


Survey data were analyzed to examine the predictors of planning components of DD use, such as choosing a DD before drinking and choosing an abstinent DD, and the relations of these components to alcohol use by DDs.


History of DD use, friends' willingness to be the DD, frequency of riding with a driver who drank and drove, and age of drinking onset were associated with planning components of DD use. Among the planning components of DD use, choosing a DD before drinking was significantly related to less alcohol use by DDs.


Increasing awareness of the planning components of DD use could deter alcohol use by DDs among college students.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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