A descriptive analysis of drugged driving among rural DUI offenders

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7 Scopus citations


Objective: Although driving under the influence (DUI) arrests occur at higher rates in rural areas and previous studies have shown more extensive drug use histories, little is known about how this relates to the prevalence and frequency of drugged driving. The present study examined drug use and drugged driving patterns among a sample of rural DUI offenders. Methods: Convicted rural DUI offenders (N = 118) completed a one-time, confidential research interview focused on drug use and drugged driving. A descriptive analysis was performed to examine the lifetime and past-year prevalence and frequency of drugged driving while under the influence of different drugs. Results: Approximately three fourths of the sample (77%) reported driving after illicit drug use in their lifetime and more than half of the sample (60%) reported doing so in the past year. Similar percentages of lifetime (86%) and past-year (81%) illicit drug users reported driving under the influence of at least one illicit drug. Illicit drug users reported a median of 240 lifetime and 16 past-year drugged driving episodes. Among those who reported ever driving after illicit drug use, marijuana (65%), prescription opioids (49%), and sedatives/tranquilizers/barbiturates (45%) were the most prevalent drugs involved in participants' drugged driving episodes. Conclusions: Findings suggest that rural DUI offenders have extensive illicit drug use histories and frequently engage in drugged driving, posing a significant threat to public safety. Additional research on the characteristics of rural drugged drivers and their drug use and driving patterns is needed to inform the development of targeted interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)462-467
Number of pages6
JournalTraffic Injury Prevention
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 4 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.


  • DUI offenders
  • Drug abuse
  • drugged driving
  • rural

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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