A Structural Model of Drinking and Driving: Alcohol Consumption, Social Norms, and Moral Commitments

Document Type



Psychology (CMC), Behavioral and Organizational Sciences (CGU)

Publication Date



Clinical Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Substance Abuse and Addiction


A structural model based upon data from a random sample of 1,000 U.S. drivers accounted for 56% of the variation in alcohol-impaired driving, with total monthly alcohol consumption as the strongest predictor. Significant contributions of age, sex, peer group values, and preference for beer suggested the operation of socialization to group norms. There was a substantial contribution of personal moral commitment against drinking and driving. However, there was no significant inhibitory influence of legal knowledge and perceived arrest risk. These findings are consistent with Andenaes's view that general deterrence should be more broadly construed to include the moral component as well as the fear component of the law.

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© 1986 Wiley-Blackwell

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