28 April 2008 The Culture of Drinking and Driving

Professor of Anthropology and Sociology H. Wesley Perkins was invited to discuss Minnesotas drunk driving rate during the Monday, April 28, Midmorning news program on Minnesota Public Radio. During the hour-long radio program, which focused on the culture of drinking and driving in the mid-Western United States, Perkins spoke about why so many adults self-identify as regular drunk drivers. Perkins was joined on the air by Midmorning host Kerri Miller and Chief Judge Lucy Wieland of Minnesotas Fourth Judicial District. Religious, cultural and ethnic differences all play a role in heavy drinking in this area of the country, explained Perkins. Where more alcohol is being consumed, there is a greater chance of abuse. Perkins, a member of the HWS faculty since 1978, holds a bachelors degree from Purdue as well as two masters and a doctorate from Yale. He popularized the Social Norms theory with work beginning more than two decades. In collaboration with Professor of Chemistry David Craig, Perkins has received numerous awards for applications of Social Norms theory that works to prevent alcohol abuse and other risk behaviors.