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Social problems, such as drink-driving, involve complex behaviours and require strategies to influence voluntary behaviour. For high at-risk groups, drink-driving prevention strategies often incorporate information telling individuals what they are doing is wrong and that they must change their behaviour. One of the major challenges facing government is communicating the problems associated with drink-driving in ways that are not considered patronising and which fit with young adults’ lives. Typically, discussions of symbolic meaning of alcohol consumption view drink-driving as a combined consequence of excessive drinking and risk-taking behaviour. As a result, there is little consideration given to the benefits young adults derive from the act of drink-driving as distinct from those derived from consuming alcohol. This qualitative study, investigates young adults’ perceptions of intrinsic and extrinsic exchange benefits derived from their drink-driving. Key factors shaping drink-driving behaviour vary across the under-the-limit, borderline and extreme drink-driver groups. These factors include: driving as a right versus privilege; fear versus fatalistic attitude towards drink-driving; and drink-driving as a means of escape, excitement and adventure versus a utilitarian method for getting home. Implications of this research for theory and policy are discussed, along with future research objectives.