Judgment Processes Relevant to Drunk Driving

Robert Turrisi, James Jaccard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The present study uses psychological theories of judgment and decision making in analyzing cognitions relevant to drunk driving decisions. Four groups of individuals were examined: (a) those having multiple convictions for drunk driving, (b) those having one conviction for drunk driving, (c) those never having been convicted of drunk driving but, who admit to having driven while intoxicated, and (d) those who drive, but claim to not have driven while intoxicated. Cognitions examined included perceived drunkenness relative to legally allowable blood alcohol levels for driving, perceived probabilities for being stopped and arrested and being involved in an automobile accident if driving drunk, and drunk driving tendencies. Perceived probabilities of being stopped and arrested and being involved in an accident were evaluated as a function of manipulations of 4 cues in a 2 × 2 × 4 × 3 factorial design (Distance to Destination × Weather and Road Conditions × Number of Drinks × Time to Consume). Perceived drunkenness was evaluated as a function of the manipulations of two cues in a 4 × 3 factorial design (Number of Drinks Consumed × Time to Consume). Results indicated the presence of several misperceptions and inappropriate response tendencies that potentially can be modified with educational efforts. These results are discussed in terms of the differential impact of previous arrest for DWI on different DWI‐related judgments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-118
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology


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