Study to investigate context surrounding drinking and driving

A new research grant will allow the Health Science Center to examine drinking and impaired-driving behaviors among Hispanic males.

The South Texas Injury Prevention and Research Center at the Health Science Center has been awarded a community action research grant through the American Sociological Association’s Sydney S. Spivack Program in Applied and Social Research Policy.

Over the next several months, this project will examine the context surrounding drinking and impaired-driving behaviors among adult Hispanic males residing in San Antonio and will:

• assess drinking and impaired-driving attitudes and behaviors, and knowledge of impaired-driving laws;
• seek community input and raise the degree of awareness about the social, health and legal consequences associated with drinking and impaired driving;
• gather new data about the risk factors associated with drinking and impaired driving
in the Hispanic community.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that Hispanics are substantially overrepresented in alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes, injuries and fatalities compared to other racial and ethnic groups. Local pilot data collected by the South Texas Injury Prevention and Research Center indicate that Hispanic males who are not well informed about Texas impaired-driving laws, including the blood alcohol concentration legal limit, are more likely to report a higher frequency of drinking and are more likely to estimate a higher number of drinks they can consume before considering themselves drunk.

“Information gleaned from this study will lead to the development of effective prevention messages that will augment other local, state and federal strategies aimed at reducing the incidence of alcohol-related motor-vehicle driving fatalities among Hispanics,” said Camerino Salazar, principal investigator of the study.

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