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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Psychosocial characteristics of drunk drivers assessed by the Addiction Severity Index, prediction of relapse

By Beata Hubicka, Hans Laurell and Hans Bergman


Aims: To investigate psychosocial characteristics and problems of a representative sample of Swedish drunk drivers with special consideration of the gender of the driver; analyze criminal records of the drivers before and after enrolment in the study; identify psychosocial predictors of relapse to drunk driving. Methods: Psychosocial characteristics were assessed by the Addiction Severity Index (ASI). Alcohol problems were additionally assessed by the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT). Criminal records were collected for the five year period before the enrolment, and for the subsequent two years, from Sweden’s official crime statistics. Results: About half of the investigated drivers had other psychosocial problems besides the drink driving offence. Female drivers had more alcohol, drug, psychiatric and relational problems, including with parents when growing up, than male drivers, but less previous and subsequent criminality. Heavily drunk drivers (blood alcohol concentration 0.1%) had more problems with alcohol, legal status and employment and support than the other drunk drivers. Problems with legal status, family and social relations and alcohol use increased the risk of relapse in drunk driving, while medical problems seemed to be a protective factor. Different ASI risk factors were identified for relapse in either traffic offences or other crimes. Conclusions: As well as the drunk driving offence, drunk drivers often have other psychosocial problems, female drivers in particular. Already the blood alcohol concentration per se gives some indication of the psychosocial problem profile of a drunk driver and the ASI profile has some prognostic value for relapse in drunk driving

Topics: Background
Year: 2016
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