n Acta Criminologica: Southern African Journal of Criminology - Informal drinking and driving peer intervention : a baseline survey of a primary prevention programme among university students

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This paper is a report of a baseline survey, which was the first phase of a four-phase intervention research project aimed at developing a peer-led drinking and driving primary prevention programme. It examines the frequency and type of intervention used by students to prevent driving under the influence of alcohol, success and failure rates by gender, reaction to intervention by gender, success rate by relationship with intervenee and setting. Data were collected by means of self-administered questionnaires from a purposive sample of 111 undergraduate university students aged 17-24 years.

The data reveal that female students were more likely to intervene in DUI situations and to receive DUI interventions from others than their male counterparts. Respondents were most likely to intervene in situations involving their friends either of the same sex (64.4%) or the opposite sex (52.9%) than in situations involving strangers (21.0%). Interventions which were attempted in private settings such as one's own home (62.1%) and a friend's home (62.9%) were more conducive to intervention success than those which were attempted at public settings such as work (45.5%), restaurant (40.7%) and night-club (31.1%), with the exception of party settings (67.9%). The least acceptable interventions were forceful ones. It could therefore be reiterated and simultaneously qualified that university (college) students do intervene to prevent their peers from drinking and driving and their interventions are often successful.
These results have implications for policy makers, programme planners, academics and practitioners in the field of alcohol and traffic safety in terms of policy and programme formulation, curriculum development and service delivery respectively.


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