Program

Jul 21, 2004

OVERVIEW

P.A.S.S is a
theory-based drunk driving education program. This Australian program was
established in 1985 to reduce the number of alcohol related car accidents for
young drivers and to also delay the onset of driving related scenarios
involving alcohol. An evaluation of the program two years later showed
that attitudes of students who received the program toward situations involving
drunk driving changed significantly. The results of an evaluation completed
three years after the program showed that there had been a major reduction in
drunk driving in control group and intervention group students, and there was
an additional significant reduction in students reporting being a passenger of
a drunk driver in the intervention group. These results were probably
influenced by major changes in community drunk driving patterns at the time.

DESCRIPTION OF PROGRAM

Target population: Grade ten high school
students (14-15 years old)

This Australian program was developed in 1985 as a
school-based drunk driving education program intended to reduce the number of
alcohol related car accidents of young people and to postpone their involvement
in driving situations involving alcohol as long as possible. It was implemented
before the participants reached the legal drinking age of eighteen years and
driving age of seventeen years because the researchers believed it was
important to try to introduce the program before the onset of the
behavior.

The program’s twelve lessons were
developed to enable the students to establish safe alternatives to driving
drunk or being a passenger of a drunk driver. The lessons focused on
changing students’ attitudes about driving drunk; their beliefs about the
outcomes of drunk driving; and their beliefs about other’s
attitudes toward these behaviors. They also focused on increasing the
level of control the participants thought they had over their own behavior in
drunk driving and passenger situations. Role-play and interactional activities
were used to help students practice replying to persuasive arguments and to
plan ahead to use alternatives to avoid driving drunk and riding as a passenger
with a drunk driver.

EVALUATION(S) OF PROGRAM
QueenslandDrink Driving Project (1990). Development and
Implementation of the Plan a Safe Strategy Drunk Driving Prevention Program,

NCADA Monograph Series No. 13 A.G.P.S. Canberra, as described in Study 2

Evaluated population: In 1988, pre and post surveys
were given to students in four randomly assigned experimental (n=348 students)
and control (n=325 students) schools.

Results: The results of the short-term evaluation
showed that attitudes of students in the intervention group toward drunk
driving and being a passenger of a drunk driver, and myths about safety in
these situations, changed significantly. Students in this group were also
more likely to be prepared to use alternatives to drunk driving or riding with
a drunk driver. Intervention students were also significantly more likely
to intend to avoid drunk driving after licensing and to avoid being a
passenger.

Sheehan, M. Ballard, R., Schonfeld, C. Schofield, F., Najman.
J, & Siskind, V. (1996).A three year outcome evaluation of a theory based drink driving
education program. Journal of Drug Education, 26(3).
295-312.

Evaluated population:

There were 164 randomly assigned experimental schools and
264 control schools. A baseline pretest was given to 4,545
students.

Approach: A three-year follow-up survey was mailed to
a random sample of 62 percent of the original respondents in February
1991. The survey measured drunk driving and passenger behaviors as well
as responses to pressures to be involved in passenger situations. 1,774
respondents returned the questionnaire in March 1991. The majority of the
respondents were female (59 percent), aged seventeen years (58 percent). 86
percent held a learner’s permit or license.

Results: The results of the survey showed that in
1991, 7 percent of the intervention students and 9 percent of the control
students reported drunk driving in the last month, compared with 3 percent and
5 percent three years earlier. 6.9 percent of respondents in the intervention
group, who did not report drunk driving in 1988
reported it in 1991, compared with 7.74 percent of the control group
respondents. 22 percent of the intervention and 27 percent of control
respondents reported being a passenger of a drunk driver in the previous month
in 1991. In 1988, more than half (57 percent and 56 percent respectively)
of both groups reported being passengers of drunk drivers over the same
period. Of the students in the intervention group who reported that they
had been passengers of a drunk driver in 1988, 29.2 percent reported in 1991
that they had been passengers of a drunk driver in the past month. This
compares with 37.4 percent of the control group.

Major community changes in drunk
driving and passenger behavior took place at the same time as the P.A.S.S.
Program. According to the authors, these changes probably affected the results
of the study. This is demonstrated by the finding that in both the
intervention and control groups there was only a minimal increase in the
proportions who reported drunk driving. While the community changes may
have been key influences, they are probably not sufficient to explain the full
magnitude of the change because the majority of these students were under the
legal drinking age, but the drinking age did not appear to have a restrictive
effect on their weekly drinking activity. Moreover, it is a random assignment
study, and impacts are clear for those who received the intervention.

P.A.S.S. reduced the proportion of students who reported
riding with a drunk driver, reduced drunk driving, and increased their
likelihood to use alternatives. However, the researchers conclude that
the results most likely over-represent conforming students who would be the
most responsive to the broader community attitude toward drunk driving.
Likewise, they conclude that the results probably under-represent the most “at
risk” group because of differential response rates to the survey. The
program was found to be most effective at encouraging students who were just
experimenting with drunk driving at the onset of the program to resist
pressures to drink and drive and to use alternative strategies in dealing with drunk driving situations. The evaluation suggests that
the P.A.S.S. Program failed to influence those who were already engaged in very
high-risk behavior.

The authors noted that, although the program showed a
significant change in drunk driving behavior among
teenagers, community changes such as the implementation of the Random Breath
Testing in 1988 and a national drunk driving prevention initiative in 1991
could have impacted the results of the study.

SOURCES FOR MORE INFORMATION

References

QueenslandDrunk Driving Project (1990). Development and
Implementation of the Plan a Safe Strategy Drink Driving Prevention Program,

NCADA Monograph Series No. 13 A.G.P.S. Canberra.

Sheehan, M. Ballard, R., Schonfeld, C. Schofield, F., Najman.
J, & Siskind, V. (1996).A three year outcome evaluation of a theory based drink driving
education program. Journal of Drug Education, 26(3).
295-312.

KEYWORDS: Substance Use, Alcohol Use, Education,
Drunk-Driving, High School, Adolescence (12-17), Youth, Physical Health,
Behavioral Problems, Drinking and Driving, School-based, High-Risk, Rural,
Urban, White or Caucasian.

Program information last updated 07/21/04.