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Hum Psychopharmacol. 2012 Nov;27(6):622-5. doi: 10.1002/hup.2260. Epub 2012 Oct 2.

Rapid drinking is associated with increases in driving-related risk-taking.

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  • 1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA.



The rate of alcohol drinking has been shown to predict impairment on cognitive and behavioral tasks. The current study assessed the influence of speed of alcohol consumption within a laboratory-administered binge on self-reported attitudes toward driving and simulated driving ability.


Forty moderate drinkers (20 female, 20 male) were recruited from the local community via advertisements for individuals who drank alcohol at least once per month. The equivalent of four standard alcohol drinks was consumed at the participant's desired pace within 2-h session.


Correlation analyses revealed that, after alcohol drinking, mean simulated driving speed, time in excess of speed limit, collisions, and reported confidence in driving were all associated with rapid alcohol drinking.


Fast drinking may coincide with increased driving confidence because of the extended latency between the conclusion of drinking and the commencement of driving. However, this latency did not reduce alcohol-related driving impairment, as fast drinking was also associated with risky driving.

Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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