Drinking & driving in Viet Nam: Prevalence, knowledge, attitudes, and practices in two provinces

Document Type

Journal Article

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Breath alcohol; Drink-driving; Enforcement; Road safety; Viet Nam


Objective Viet Nam is experiencing a shift in its burden of disease profile with injuries becoming more prominent. A history of high alcohol involvement in road traffic crashes despite stringent laws led to increased enforcement by police, enhanced public education messaging and targeted social marketing campaigns in Ha Nam and Ninh Binh provinces in Viet Nam. This study aims to illustrate the changes in prevalence (November 2010 to December 2011) and knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) around alcohol use and drink-driving for the year 2011. Methods Breath Alcohol Concentration (BrAC) was collected through police enforcement checkpoints in the two provinces. The proportion of drivers with BrAC above the legal limit was plotted over time for both provinces. The trend in prevalence of drink-driving over time was further assessed using Poisson regression models. Prevailing KAPs were determined through surveying randomly selected road users over the age of 17 years at gas stations at quarterly intervals. Cross tabulations of key variables as well Chi-Square statistic were used to assess associations. Results A total of 8,404 drivers were tested for BrAC levels of which less than 0.25% were female. Of 1,639 drivers displaying BrAC levels in excess of the legal limit, 87.3% were car drivers, 7.9% motorcyclists and 86% were between the ages of 25 and 44 years. KAP surveys captured 1,661 drivers over the study period. The prevalence of self-reported drink-driving increased 6 percentage points among respondents aged 27-36. Between 44% (January 2011) and 49% (December 2011) of respondents indicated awareness of a drinking and driving Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) or BrAC limit and only 25% of all study participants recalled being penalized for a traffic violation - none of which were for drink-driving. Conclusion While there has been some reduction in drink-driving prevalence, inadequate or incorrect knowledge on drink-driving legislation appears to be an impediment to greater gains. Increased attention needs to be paid to enforcement activities and social marketing campaigns need to be part of a multi-faceted programme that also works on improving existing legislation, takes into consideration gender issues, and enhances visible enforcement of the laws. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.