29. november 2013

Drinking and driving in a sociological perspective

The PhD project is about driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol and other drugs. It is based on qualitative interviews with 25 convicted drink-drivers.

The study shows that drink-drivers in Denmark are very different people: They drink and drive differently and they account differently of drinking and driving.

Some drink-drivers are young and like to take risks. They don’t see themselves as alcoholics and rather despise people who cannot control their drinking. Others are middle-aged who dislike taking risks. They focus on risk assessment as a way of minimizing the risk of causing accidents or getting caught by the police. Others again are addicted to alcohol and don’t consider whether drink-driving is acceptable or not.

The study

The study consists of an overview of contemporary DUI-studies in Denmark and internationally, a theoretically informed positioning within symbolic interactionism and relational sociology, and five papers that analyse different aspects of drinking and driving

The first two papers explore the sample of interviewees and construct four DUI-profiles and a central DUI-dimension between consumption and control.

The third and fourth papers analyse young, risky drink-drivers and the problem of ‘addiction’ among drink-drivers.

The fifth paper accounts of the study’s methodological implications and analyses three DUI-offenders’ self-presentations.


The thesis contributes qualitative, sociologically informed knowledge about drinking and driving in contemporary society. This knowledge is an important contribution to the alcohol field in general and an input for future policies aimed at minimizing DUI.

Read the thesis here.