Driving-while-intoxicated history as a risk marker for general aviation pilots

Guohua Li, Susan P. Baker, Yandong Qiang, Jurek G. Grabowski, Melissa L. McCarthy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The Federal Aviation Administration conducts background checking for driving-while-intoxicated (DWI) convictions on all pilots. This study examined the association between DWI history and crash risk in a cohort of 335,672 general aviation pilots. These pilots were followed up from 1994 to 2000 through the aviation crash surveillance system of the National Transportation Safety Board. At baseline, 3.4% of the pilots had a DWI history. DWI history was associated with a 43% increased risk of crash involvement (adjusted relative risk: 1.43; 95% confidence interval: 1.15-1.77). The population-attributable risk fraction for DWI history was estimated as 1.4%. In addition to DWI history, male gender, older age, and inexperience were associated with significantly increased risk of crash involvement. The results of this study support DWI history as a valid risk marker for general aviation pilots. The safety benefit of background checking for DWI history needs to be further evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)179-184
Number of pages6
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005


  • Accident
  • Alcohol
  • Aviation
  • Driving-while-intoxicated
  • Epidemiology
  • Safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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