Binge Drinkers Think They Can Drive Drunk

A study of U.S. college students found that binge drinkers, even when legally intoxicated, believe they having adequate driving abilities.

"Binge drinkers are individuals who, when they drink, typically drink to get drunk," first author Cecile A. Marczinski of Northern Kentucky University said in a statement.

Study participants were 20 male and 20 female social-drinking college students -- 24 binge drinkers, 16 non-binge drinkers -- ages 21 to 29. All participants attended two sessions: one during which they received a moderate dose of alcohol, 0.65 g/kg, and one during which they received a placebo.

Following each session/dose, researchers measured the students' performance during a simulated driving task, and also measured their subjective responses, including ratings of sedation, stimulation and driving abilities.

"After being given an intoxicating dose of alcohol, all of these individuals -- both binge and non-binge drinkers -- were very poor drivers when tested on a driving simulator," Marczinski said. "However, when all of the participants are asked to rate their driving ability, the binge drinkers reported that they had a greater ability to drive compared to the non-binge drinkers."

The findings are scheduled to be published in the July issue of Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and is available online.
source: United Press International