data were collected on 1032 male drivers and riders charged with drink/driving offences in birmingham during an 18 month period from 1 january 1976. in 350 cases, the data were augmented by additional information obtained by attending the relevant court cases. a sub-sample of 102 motorists whose cases were attended subsequently volunteered to be interviewed to obtain data on drinking and drink/driving habits. control data were obtained by interviewing a representative sample of 300 male licence-holders in birmingham who had no conviction for drink/driving offences. two-thirds of the offenders who provided blood or urine samples had blood alcohol concentrations (bac's) above 150 mg/100 ml. the median bac was 178 mg/100 ml. comparisons of the offender and control groups suggested that offenders were more likely to be under 50; single, divorced or separated, in semi-skilled or unskilled manual socio-economic groups; unemployed; and to have previous motoring convictions. the offender group also tended to have a substantially higher weekly alcohol intake. motorists who consume in excess of 180 gm of alcohol (approximately 12 pints of beer) over a period of one week appear to be particularly at risk of detection and conviction. further emphasis needs to be placed upon the modification of individuals' habits and attitudes towards drinking and driving.(a)

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