The association between drinking motives and protective behavioral strategies was explored, including whether individuals with different drinking motives were more or less likely to utilize protective behavioral strategies and whether the combination of drinking motives and use of protective strategies may help identify individuals at elevated risk for alcohol-related problems. The final sample included 358 college students (59.2% female; M = 18.47. years old, SD = .58). Individuals who had greater enhancement and social motives for drinking used protective strategies less frequently, controlling for number of drinks per week; those who had greater conformity motives used protective strategies more frequently. Coping motives were not significantly correlated with the mean of protective factors, but were associated with less frequently using individual strategies. Using protective strategies more frequently was associated with consuming fewer drinks and having lower RAPI scores. Interactions of drinking motives with the number of protective strategies tended to be non-significant; however, significant interactions indicated that greater coping and conformity motives were especially associated with negative outcomes among individuals who used fewer protective strategies. © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.