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Health Indicator Report of Alcohol - Drinking and Driving Among Adults

Adult drinking and driving is a precursor to alcohol-related motor vehicle crash injury and death. Any drinking and driving is dangerous (i.e., associated with an elevated risk of crash and injury), but driving after binge drinking (which is defined as a level of drinking likely to lead to a 0.08 BAC) is particularly risky. Unfortunately, binge drinkers are much more likely to report driving after drinking than non-binge drinkers. For example, in 2014, only 1.1% of adults reported driving after drinking too much; but 7.0% of binge drinkers reported engaging in this risky behavior in the past 30 days, compared to only 0.1% of non-binge drinkers.
Driving after drinking prevalence decreased significantly between 2006 and 2010.


The drinking and driving question is only asked in even years.   Estimates for 2011 and forward should not be compared to earlier years (please refer to Data Interpretation Issues, below).

Data Sources

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey Data, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, together with New Mexico Department of Health, Injury and Behavioral Epidemiology Bureau.
  • U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), BRFSS Prevalence and Trends Data, [].

Data Interpretation Issues

Data for this indicator report are from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an ongoing survey of adults regarding their health-related behaviors, health conditions, and preventive services. Data are collected in all 50 states, D.C., and U.S. territories. Responses have been weighted to reflect the New Mexico adult population by age, sex, ethnicity, geographic region, marital status, education level, home ownership and type of phone ownership. The survey is conducted using scientific telephone survey methods for landline and cellular phones (with cellular since 2011). The landline phone portion of the survey excludes adults living in group quarters such as college dormitories, nursing homes, military barracks, and prisons. The cellular phone portion of the survey includes adult students living in college dormitories but excludes other group quarters. Beginning with 2011, the BRFSS updated its surveillance methods by adding in calls to cell phones and changing its weighting methods. These changes improve BRFSS' ability to take into account the increasing proportion of U.S. adults using only cellular telephones as well as to adjust survey data to improve the representativeness of the estimates generated from the survey. Results have been adjusted for the probability of selection of the respondent, and have been weighted to the adult population by age, gender, phone type, detailed race/ethnicity, renter/owner, education, marital status, and geographic area. Lastly and importantly, these changes mean that the data from years prior to 2011 are not directly comparable to data from 2011 and beyond. Please see the [ BRFSS Method Change Factsheet]. The "missing" and "don't know" responses are removed before calculating a percentage.


Drinking and driving is defined as adults who report that they drove after having "perhaps too much to drink" at least once in past 30 days


Number of New Mexican adults (ages 18 and over) from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) who reported driving after having "perhaps too much to drink" at least once in past 30 days


Number of New Mexican adults (ages 18 and over) from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

Other Objectives

Substance Abuse Epidemiology Report Indicator

Evidence-based Practices

The Community Guide outlines evidence-based strategies for the prevention of excessive alcohol use and alcohol-related motor vehicle injury:

Available Services

Doctors, nurses and other health professionals should screen all adult patients and counsel those who drink too much to drink less. This is called alcohol screening and brief intervention (A-SBI). A-SBI can reduce how much alcohol a person drinks on an occasion by 25%. A-SBI is recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), the Community Preventive Services Task Force (Community Guide), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the World Health Organization (WHO). For more information on A-SBI, please the CDC vital signs website:
Page Content Updated On 10/03/2017, Published on 05/30/2018
The information provided above is from the New Mexico Department of Health's NM-IBIS web site ( The information published on this website may be reproduced without permission. Please use the following citation: "Retrieved Sun, 28 November 2021 from New Mexico Department of Health, Indicator-Based Information System for Public Health Web site:".

Content updated: Tue, 19 Mar 2019 09:24:23 MDT