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Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey (HABLAS): DUI Rates, Birthplace, and Acculturation Across Hispanic National Groups
J. Stud. Alcohol Drugs 69: 259-265, 2008

This article examines the association between birthplace, acculturation, and self-reported driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), 12-month and lifetime DUI arrest rates among Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and South/Central Americans in the U.S. population.

Using a multistage cluster sample design, 5,224 adults (18 years of age or older) were interviewed from households in five metropolitan areas of the United States: Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles.

Birthplace was not associated with DUI, 12-month DUI arrest rates, or lifetime DUI arrest rates. Mexican Americans in the medium- and high-acculturation groups were more likely to engage in DUI. A higher proportion of U.S.-born than foreign-born respondents as well as those in the high-acculturation group, irrespective of national origin, reported having been stopped by police when driving. U.S.-born Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, and South/Central Americans thought they could consume a higher mean number of drinks before their driving is impaired compared with those who are foreign born.

There are considerable differences in DUI-related behavior across Hispanic national groups. U.S.-born Hispanics and those born abroad, but not those at different levels of acculturation, have equal risk of involvement with DUI.

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