Drinking-Driving Attitudes: A Survey of Fairfax County, 1971

Report No: 72-R3

Published in 1973

About the report:

The objective of this study was to gather and tabulate baseline data on selected attitudes and opinions held by the public of Fairfax County, Virginia. The study was designed to assist the program of the Alcohol Safety Action Project, currently in operation in that county. The subject matter of this initial study of Fairfax County was public opinion and attitudes revealed by a questionnaire concerning various aspects of drinking and driving. The data obtained are being used as a baseline to ascertain attitude change over the duration of this particular ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Project). The value of this approach lies in the fact that public opinion and awareness of a project such as ASAP are crucial to its overall effectiveness. If the project is to reach a level of optimal functioning, beliefs and opinions must be ascertained. With these data, one can observe where there are doubts and misconceptions on the part of the public. Measures, or countermeasures, will then be instituted to correct these doubts and misconceptions. As the nature of social problems and social services has changed, so have the attitudes and behavior of the public. Motivation and understanding are now key elements in public service programs, and one of the necessary conditions to achieving motivation and understanding is that the individual believe in the value of the program being undertaken. In a program such as ASAP, aimed at getting drunken drivers off the roads of Fairfax County, favorable public opinion and public support are necessary. Because the program will affect many persons living in the ASAP area, their assessment of the drinking-driving problem is crucial in determining the directions the project will take, especially in the fields of public information and education. The study deals with the opinions and attitudes held by the general public of Fairfax County, based on a detailed questionnaire designed by the Virginia Highway Research Council, the federal government, and the Stoneland Corporation. The answers were gathered, and cross-tabulations were run on the results.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.


  • Reed M. Rodman

Last updated: February 8, 2024

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