Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The purpose of this study was to explore the relationship between various psychosocial characteristics and Driving While Impaired (DWI) arrests, within a sample of male alcoholics in treatment. Four main groups of variables were studied: socio-demographic characteristics, drinking characteristics, driving characteristics and psychosocial characteristics. People were subdivided into three groups according to their number of DWI arrests in the previous ten years, as determined by self-reports and official driving records: Group 0 had zero DWI arrests, Group 1 had one DWI arrest, and Group 2 had multiple DWI arrests. Two hundred and fifty-eight people completed the self-administered questionnaire.;The results of bivariate analyses showed that Group 0 and Group 1 were practically indistinguishable for the variables investigated and, therefore, they were combined into one group. People in Group 2, however, were significantly different from people in the other two groups for about one half of the variables studied. People with multiple DWI arrests were significantly more likely than others to be single, lower in socio-economic status, lower in education, and younger. Multiple offenders drank less frequently, but drank greater quantities of alcohol per occasion and reported higher numbers of most drinks ever consumed in a day. Multiple offenders reported they drove more dangerously after drinking and enjoyed driving in itself more than the others. Finally, people with multiple DWI arrests had more disrespect for authority, more undesirable life events, and described themselves as less socially desirable. Analysis also showed that the numbers of moving violations or traffic collisions without alcohol involvement were not related to DWI arrests. Finally, multivariate analyses were conducted in order to determine which combinations of variables best explain multiple DWI arrests. Interactions that improved the main effects model were also explored.;The results provided a contribution towards understanding factors related to DWI within a sample of male alcoholics in treatment. Although use of this sample had limitations in terms of reduced generalizability, advantages were achieved. Specifically, use of this more homogeneous group helped improve efficiency and reduced the prospect of confounding due to differences in alcoholism and gender.



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