Alcohol Effects on Simulated Driving Performance and Self-Perceptions of Impairment in DUI Offenders.
Van Dyke N, Fillmore MT.
Drivers with a history of driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol self-report heightened impulsivity and display reckless driving behaviors as indicated by increased rates of vehicle crashes, moving violations, and traffic tickets. Such poor behavioral self-regulation could also increase sensitivity to the disruptive effects of alcohol on driving performance. The present study examined the degree to which DUI drivers display an increased sensitivity to the acute impairing effects of alcohol on simulated driving performance and overestimate their driving fitness following alcohol consumption. Adult drivers with a history of DUI and a demographically matched group of drivers with no history of DUI (controls) were tested following a 0.65 g/kg alcohol and a placebo. Results indicated that alcohol impaired several measures of driving performance, and there was no difference between DUI offenders and controls in these impairments. However, following alcohol, DUI drivers self-reported a greater ability and willingness to drive compared with controls. These findings indicate that drivers with a history of DUI might perceive themselves as more fit to drive after drinking, which could play an important role in their decisions to drink and drive. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2014 APA, all rights reserved).