Binge drinking, drinking and driving, and riding with a driver who had been drinking heavily among air national guard and air force reserve personnel


Heavy drinking is associated with significant health problems and increased risk for injury and death. Although several studies have investigated alcohol use among active duty and civilian populations, little is known about the alcohol use patterns of reserve personnel. This study examined the prevalence and correlates of binge drinking, driving after drinking, and riding in a vehicle with a driver who had consumed alcohol among 4,836 guardsmen and reservists who were taking part in basic military training (mean age = 21.3 years; 29.4% female). Forty-six percent reported one or more binge drinking episodes in the month before basic military training. Four percent drove after consuming five or more drinks, while 8.9% rode as a passenger with a driver who had been drinking heavily. Several demographic, behavioral, and attitudinal correlates of risky drinking patterns were identified. Findings have potentially important implications for the health, safety, and military readiness of reserve personnel. Copyright © by Association of Military Surgeons of U.S., 2006.

Publication Title

Military Medicine