Profiling drunk driving recidivists in Denmark

Mette Møller, Sonja Haustein, Carlo Giacomo Prato

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Drunk drivers are a menace to themselves and to other road users, as drunk driving significantly increases the risk of involvement in road accidents and the probability of severe or fatal injuries. Although injuries and fatalities related to road accidents have decreased in recent decades, the prevalence of drunk drivingamong drivers killed in road accidents has remained stable, at around 25% or more during the past 10 years. Understanding drunk driving, and in particular, recidivism, is essentialfor designing effective counter measures,and accordingly, the present study aims at identifying the differences between non-drunkdrivers, drunk driving non-recidivists and drunk driving recidivists with respect to their demographicand socio-economic characteristics, road accident involvement and other traffic and non-traffic-related law violations. This study is based on register-data from Statistics Denmark and includes information from 2008 to 2012 for the entire population, aged 18 or older, of Denmark. The results from univariate and multivariate statistical analyses reveal a five year prevalence of 17% for drunk driving recidivism, and a significant relation between recidivism and the drunk drivers’ gender, age, income, education, receiptof an early retirement pension, household type, and residential area. Moreover, recidivists are foundto have a higher involvement in alcohol-related road accidents, as well as other traffic and, in particular,non-traffic-related offences. These findings indicate that drunk driving recidivism is more likely tooccur among persons who are in situations of socio-economic disadvantage and marginalisation. Thus,to increase their effectiveness, preventive measures aiming to reduce drunk driving should also addressissues related to the general life situations of the drunk driving recidivists that contribute to an increased risk of drunk driving recidivism.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalAccident Analysis & Prevention
    Pages (from-to)125–131
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


    • Road traffic accidents
    • Recidivism
    • Drunk driving
    • Traffic violations


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