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Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 2015;41(4):353-7. doi: 10.3109/00952990.2015.1043436. Epub 2015 Jun 9.

Risk of alcohol abuse in urban versus rural DUI offenders.

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Independent Consultant , Glendale, AZ , USA , and.



Research concerning driving under the influence (DUI) offenses in rural populations is scarce and has often been carried out in the context of substance abuse and illicit drug use. Although previous studies have suggested that rural individuals are more likely to abstain from alcohol use, recent trends suggest that alcohol and substance abuse problems in rural areas are occurring at rates similar to urban areas. It is possible that urban and rural DUI offenders may differ on psychological and behavioral characteristics associated with heavy alcohol consumption.


The aim of this study was to examine alcohol use differences between urban and rural DUI offenders.


Data from 11 066 DUI offenders in a Midwestern state were used for this study. The Alcohol subscale of the Driver Risk Inventory II was used to assess the risk of problem alcohol use.


Higher levels of alcohol risk were associated with rural DUI offenders after adjusting for several demographic variables and blood-alcohol content level at time of arrest [Medium Risk OR = 1.43, 95% CI: (1.20, 1.71); Problem Risk OR = 1.43, 95% CI: (1.19, 1.72); Severe Risk OR = 1.38, 95% CI: (1.14, 1.67)].


The results of this study indicate that rural DUI offenders have a significantly greater risk of heavy alcohol use when compared to urban DUI offenders. Practical implications of these results suggest that evaluators and assessors should be aware of an increased likelihood of alcohol problems in rural DUI individuals relative to those in urban areas.


Alcohol abuse; alcohol risk; driving under the influence; driving while intoxicated

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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