Date of Award

Spring 2008

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Sociology & Criminal Justice


Applied Sociology

Committee Director

Elizabeth Monk-Turner

Committee Member

Nonso Okafo

Committee Member

Dianne Carmody

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.S62 M37 2008


A survey of college students was administered in order to better understand why students choose to either walk after consuming alcoholic beverages or drive after consuming alcoholic beverages. Students were asked to answer demographic questions along with opinion questions as well. The main variables used in this study were perceived severity of offense, perceived certainty of offense (i.e. level of concern about getting stopped), moral condemnation and punishment avoidance.

Univariate, bivariate and multivariate analyses were examined to see what characteristics have an impact on students behavior regarding public intoxication. Although significant with one or both dependent variables, perceived severity, perceived certainty, and moral condemnation had a much smaller effect that punishment avoidance. In fact, the results found that punishment avoidance seemed to have the strongest effect in student's decisions. This then would suggest that students who indicate higher likelihood of punishment avoidance are more likely to walk and/or drive while intoxicated than those who indicated a lower likelihood of punishment avoidance.

While this study did generate a description of the characteristics that may impact students behavior regarding public intoxication, due to the nature of the study, it was not able to provide a holistic view of which variables have the most explanatory power. It did, however, acknowledge that walking while intoxicated and driving while intoxicated continues to be an issue within our society and among our colleges and universities. Additionally, the research was able to add to the literature by specifically probing the issue of walking while intoxicated.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).