SWOV Catalogus

95698

Drunk driving : the role of alcohol consumption, situational aspects and general deterrence.
C 17048 (In: C 17017 [electronic version only]) /83 / ITRD E107023
Dunkel, F. & Glitsch, E.
In: Alcohol, drugs and traffic safety T2000 : proceedings of the 15th ICADTS International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety, Stockholm, Sweden, May 22nd - 26th, 2000, pp.-

Samenvatting Consistent with our previous research, the decision for drunk driving is conceptualised to reflect the ratio of inhibiting and facilitating cognitions. A number of variables have been previously suggested to moderate this ratio, and thus, the likelihood of drunk driving. This study has the goal to assess effects of alcohol consumption, situational aspects, and general deterrence (i.e. the role of criminal law) within a common experimental context (hypothetical scenario). Thus, participants were asked to estimate the likelihood of driving under increasing levels of alcohol consumption (0.5% to 3.0% BAC) and different variations in the social context (social disapproval, accident risk, risk of apprehension, cost/benefit incentives). In addition, a questionnaire assessed effects of general and specific deterrence. A total of 163 drunk drivers and 147 sober drivers participated in this study. The results revealed that the importance of different context conditions varied largely across individuals, especially under high alcohol consumption. That is, subgroups are differentially sensitive to risk apprehension, social disapproval and accident risk. Interestingly, for the majority of individuals, two aspects of general deterrence (risk of apprehension and severity of punishment) do not seem to be an important part of their cognitions on drunk driving. On the other hand moral attachment and social disapproval (especially by friends, peers etc.) are of major importance for the expected future behaviour. Implications for prevention and intervention are discussed. Concerning crime policy the proposal is to replace fines by penal warnings in combination with counselling and - if necessary - treatment in order to shorten the period of suspension of the driver's license. Most important concerning deterrence is the "sanction" of temporarily suspending the driver's license. It can be constructively used to tackle the problems of certain groups of drunk drivers. On the other hand the social norms and social disapproval of drunk driving are more important to guarantee the conformity of possible offenders. Therefore public education and other forms of strengthening behavioural norms against drunk driving have to be stressed.
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