A descriptive analysis of drugged driving among rural DUI offenders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 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

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Grant R03AA015964 from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; J. Matthew Webster, Principal Investigator; and by the staff and resources of the Center on Drug and Alcohol Research at the University of Kentucky. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the position of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

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


Dive into the research topics of 'A descriptive analysis of drugged driving among rural DUI offenders'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this