Objective: Prior research has shown that designated drivers (DD) are widely used as a preventive measure for driving under the influence. Despite the prevalence of alcohol involvement in boating accidents, much less is known about the use of a designated boat operator (DBO). The current study investigated the prevalence of DBO use in recreational boating and compared the characteristics of DD users and DBO users. Method: Several survey questionnaires were distributed to a group of undergraduate students at a large southwestern university for the purpose of investigating demographic characteristics, alcohol-use pattern, and other alcohol-related problem behaviors, such as driving and boating under the influence. Results: Approximately 45% of the boaters reported they had drunk alcohol while boating, and approximately 70% had used a DBO in the most recent boating event. The DBO users were found to be similar to the DD users in terms of drinking pattern, age of drinking onset, and driving behaviors. Conclusions: High rates of alcohol use in recreational boating suggest the need for prevention strategies. Furthermore, future studies are needed to investigate the selection process of the DBOs and the differences between passengers and boat operators, which could shed light on strategies to prevent alcohol-involved boating injuries.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Medicine (miscellaneous)