The Hispanic Americans Baseline Alcohol Survey (HABLAS): DUI rates, birthplace, and acculturation across Hispanic national groups

Raul Caetano, Suhasini Ramisetty-Mikler, Lori A. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Objective: This article examines the association between birthplace, acculturation, and self-reported driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI), 12-month and lifetime DUI arrest rates among Mexican Americans, Puerto Ricans, Cuban Americans, and South/Central Americans in the U.S. population. Method: Using a multistage cluster sample design, 5,224 adults (18 years of age or older) were interviewed from households in five metropolitan areas of the United States: Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Houston, and Los Angeles. Results: Birthplace was not associated with DUI, 12-month DUI arrest rates, or lifetime DUI arrest rates. Mexican Americans in the medium- and high-acculturation groups were more likely to engage in DUI. A higher pro-portion of U.S.-born than foreign-born respondents as well as those in the high-acculturation group, irrespective of national origin, reported having been stopped by police when driving. U.S.-born Cuban Americans, Mexican Americans, and South/Central Americans thought they could consume a higher mean number of drinks before their driving is impaired compared with those who are foreign born. Conclusions: There are considerable differences in DUI-related behavior across Hispanic national groups. U.S.-born Hispanics and those born abroad, but not those at different levels of acculturation, have equal risk of involvement with DUI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-265
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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