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Driving Under the Influence (DUI) and Alcohol Problems

Individuals with an alcohol problem are significantly more likely to report driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs than individuals without an alcohol problem.

Among public sector adults (those without health insurance or who currently receive Medicaid) over half of people with an alcohol problem (53%) report driving under the influence in the past 12 months, compared to only 14% of those without a substance use disorder.1

Although individuals meeting the diagnostic criteria for alcohol abuse or dependence were the most likely to report driving under the influence in the past 12 months, individuals with other drug problems also reported DUI rates that are significantly higher than those reported by the general public. Over 40 percent of people meeting the diagnostic criteria for illicit drug abuse or dependence report driving under the influence in the past year, as do 41 percent of individuals who meet the diagnostic criteria for prescription pain medication abuse or dependence.

For more information on the effects of DUI and effective solutions for dealing with individuals arrested for DUI, see Ensuring Solutions Primer #7: Finding Common Ground: Improving Highway Safety With More Effective Interventions for Alcohol Problems.

  1. 1. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Office of Applied Studies, NATIONAL SURVEY ON DRUG USE AND HEALTH, Combined 2004-2006 Dataset. Research Triangle Park, NC. Research Triangle Institute. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research.