Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No.

DOT HS 809 028

2. Government Accession No. 3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle

A Review of the Literature on the
Effects of Low Doses of Alcohol on Driving-Related Skills

5. Report Date

April 2000

6. Performing Organization Code

7. Author(s)

H. Moskowitz, D. Fiorentino

8. Performing Organization Report No.

9. Performing Organization Name and Address

Herbert Moskowitz, Ph.D, Inc.
4138 Royal Crest
Encino, CA 91436

10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)

11. Contract or Grant No.
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address

U.S. Department of Transportation
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590

13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final Report

14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes:
Paul J. Tremont, Ph.D was the COTR for this project.
16. Abstract

A review of the scientific literature regarding the effects of alcohol on driving-related skills was conducted. One hundred and twelve articles - from 1981 to 1997 - were reviewed. Results were indexed by BAC and behavioral area and entered into a database. Two separate analyses were conducted. The first analysis determined the lowest BAC at which impairment is reliably present in driving-related skills. The second analysis determined the thresholds of impairment for each of twelve separate behavioral areas. It was concluded that:

  • Alcohol impairs some driving skills beginning with any significant departure from zero BAC. By BACs of 0.05 g/dl, the majority of the experimental studies examined reported significant impairment. By 0.08 g/dl, more than 94% of the studies reviewed exhibited skills impairment.
  • Specific performance skills are differentially affected by alcohol. Some skills are significantly impaired by BACs of 0.01 g/dl, while others do not show impairment until BACs of 0.06 g/dl.
  • Discrepancies between the reported BAC threshold of impairment within a behavioral area reflected a lack of standardization of testing methods, instruments, and measures in the studies reviewed.
  • All drivers are expected to experience impairment in some driving-related skills by 0.08 g/dl or less.
17. Key Words

Alcohol, BAC, Driving Skills, Literature Review

18. Distribution Statement

This document is available to the U.S. public through the National technical Information Service, Springfield, Virginia, 22161.

19. Security Classif. (of this report)


20. Security Classif. (of this page)


21. No. of Pages 22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized