Purpose: To evaluate young drivers' intentions to drink and drive in the context of a health attitude model, the Protection Motivation Theory (PMT).Methods: Licensed drivers attending college and ranging from 17 to 20 years of age (n = 304) completed questionnaires assessing PMT variables in the context of drinking and driving. More than half the sample consisted of females (62%) and most were white (89%). The drivers rated the extent to which they found drinking and driving to be personally rewarding, their perceived vulnerability to the risks of drinking and driving, the severity of the risks, the response efficacy of alternative adaptive responses to drinking and driving, their self-efficacy for implementing alternative responses, and the response costs associated with the responses. The relationship between PMT variables and drivers' intention to drink and drive was tested using hierarchical multiple regression analyses with attitudes concerning drinking and driving (rewards, vulnerability, and severity) entered in the regression equation first, followed by attitudes concerning alternative adaptive responses (response efficacy, self-efficacy, and response costs).Results: The PMT model was found to predict intentions to drink and drive. Young drivers who perceived rewards for drinking and driving and who felt vulnerable to the risks of drinking and driving were significantly more likely to report intentions to drink and drive. Attitudes about alternative adaptive responses to drinking and driving, including perceiving low self-efficacy for implementing alternative responses and perceiving personal costs for engaging in alternative options, also contributed to drivers' intentions to drink and drive.Conclusions: Although teenaged drivers are well informed of the dangers of drinking and driving, they still put themselves and others at risk by driving after consuming alcohol. Health professionals promoting safer alternatives might consider how young drivers' attitudes about both drinking and driving and alternative adaptive responses contribute to their intentions to drink and drive. Copyright (C) 2000 Society for Adolescent Medicine.