Use of designated boat operators and designated drivers among college students

Jeewon Cheong, Nicole M. Hall, David Mackinnon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)616-619
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)


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