Prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving and riding in northern Ghana

Damsere-Derry, James, Palk, Gavan, & King, Mark (2015) Prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving and riding in northern Ghana. Traffic Injury Prevention, 17(3), pp. 226-232.

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The objective of this study was to determine the roadside prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving among drivers and riders in northern Ghana. The study also verifies motorists’ perception on their own alcohol use and knowledge of legal Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit of Ghana.


With the assistance of police, the systematic random sampling was used to collect data at roadblocks using a cross-sectional study design. Breathalyzers were used to screen whether motorists had detectable alcohol in their breath and a follow-up breath tests conducted to measure the actual breath alcohol levels among positive participants.


In all, 9.7% of the 789 participants had detectable alcohol among whom 6% exceeded the legal (BAC) limit of 0.08%. The prevalence of alcohol-impaired driving/riding was highest among cyclists (10% of all cyclists breath tested) followed by truck drivers 9% and motorcyclists (7% of all motorcyclists breath tested). The occurrence of a positive BAC among cyclists was about 8 times higher, (OR=7.73; p<0.001) and 2 times higher, among motorcyclists (OR=2.30; p=0.039) compared with private car drivers. The likelihood for detecting a positive BAC among male motorists/riders was higher than females (OR=1.67; p=0.354). The odds for detecting a positive BAC among weekend motorists/riders was significantly higher than weekdays (OR=2.62; p=0.001).


Alcohol-impaired driving/riding in Ghana is high by international standards. In order to attenuate the harmful effects of alcohol misuse such as alcohol-impaired driving/riding, there is the need to educate road users about how much alcohol they can consume and stay below the legal limit. The police should also initiate random breath testing to instil the deterrence of detection, certainty of apprehension and punishment, and severity and celerity of punishment among drink-driving motorists and riders.

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ID Code: 85346
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: Published online 06 Jul 2015. The embargo on the accepted manuscript version will expire on 06 January 2016
Funding was provided by QUT Grant In-Aid. Our gratitude goes to the Building & Road Research Institute (BRRI) of Ghana for providing in-kind support.
Keywords: alcohol, BAC, bicyclists, blood alcohol concentration, cars, motorcyclists, countermeasures
DOI: 10.1080/15389588.2015.1066499
ISSN: 1538-957X
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Taylor & Francis Inc.
Copyright Statement: The Version of Record of this manuscript has been published and is available in Traffic Injury Prevention <date of publication>
Deposited On: 13 Jul 2015 23:24
Last Modified: 16 May 2016 09:09

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