General Motor Vehicle Drivers’ Knowledge and Practices Regarding Drink Driving in Yinchuan and Guangzhou, China

Objective: Drink driving contributes to significant levels of injury and economic loss in China but is not well researched. This study examined knowledge, drink-driving practices, and alcohol misuse problems among general drivers in Yinchuan. The objectives were to gain a better understanding of drink driving in Yinchuan, identify areas that need to be addressed, and compare the results with a similar study in Guangzhou.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study with a survey designed to collect information on participants’ demographic characteristics and their knowledge and practices in relation to drinking and driving. The survey was composed of questions on knowledge and practices in relation to drink driving and was administered to a convenience sample of 406 drivers. Alcohol misuse problems were assessed by using the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).

Results: Males accounted for the main proportion of drivers sampled from the general population (“general drivers”). A majority of general drivers in both cities knew that drunk driving had become a criminal offense in 2011; however, knowledge of 2 legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limits was quite low. Fewer drivers in Yinchuan (22.6%) than in Guangzhou (27.9) reported having been stopped by police conducting breath alcohol testing at least once in the last 12 months. The mean AUDIT score in Yinchuan (M = 8.2) was higher than that in Guangzhou (M = 7.4), and the proportion of Yinchuan drivers with medium or higher alcohol misuse problems (31.2%) was correspondingly higher than in Guangzhou (23.1%). In Yinchuan, males had a significantly higher AUDIT score than females (t = 3.454, P <.001), similar to Guangzhou. Multiple regression analyses were conducted on potential predictors of the AUDIT score (age, gender, monthly income, education level, years licensed, and age started drinking). There were significant individual contributions of gender (beta = 0.173, P =.09) and age at which drinking started (beta = 0.141, P =.033), but the overall model for Yinchuan was not significant, unlike Guangzhou.

Conclusions: The results show that there are shortfalls in knowledge of the legislation and how to comply with it and deficiencies in police enforcement. In addition, there was evidence of drink driving and drink riding at high levels in both cities. Recommendations are made to address these issues.