Marijuana Use and Driving Under the Influence among Young Adults: A Socioecological Perspective on Risk Factors

Carla J. Berg*, Carmen N. Daniel, Milkie Vu, Jingjing Li, Kathleen Martin, Lana Le

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Background: Given increases in marijuana use and driving under the influence (DUI), it is critical to identify those at risk in order to inform intervention efforts. Objectives: We used a socioecological framework to examine correlates of level of marijuana use and DUI in the past month among young adult marijuana users. Methods: We recruited 1567 participants aged 18–34 years via Facebook ads targeting tobacco and marijuana users in August 2014 to complete an online survey assessing marijuana use and DUI, as well as related multilevel factors. Analyses focused on 649 participants reporting past 30-day marijuana use. Results: The sample was an average age of 24.48 (SD = 5.10), 43.9% female, and 76.4% White and used marijuana an average of 17.86 (SD = 11.29) days in the past month. Notably, 48.4% reported driving after marijuana use at least once in the past month, and 74.0% were passengers. Multivariable regression indicated that greater use was associated with: being older; being male; greater symptoms of dependence; residing in a state with recreational marijuana legalized; having a medical marijuana card; having parents and more friends who use; higher coping motives; lower perceived harm to health; and less concern about driving after marijuana use (adjusted R-squared = 0.294). Correlates of driving after using marijuana in the past month included: being younger; more frequent use; having more friends who use; higher enhancement motives; and less concern about driving after using (Nagelkerke R-squared = 0.442). Conclusions/Importance: Interventions and campaigns should address social norms and risk perceptions regarding marijuana use, particularly as it relates to DUI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-380
Number of pages11
JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 23 2018


  • Marijuana use
  • driving under the influence
  • risk factors
  • risk perceptions
  • young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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