This study was conducted to compare the validity of a new screening instrument developed by the World Health Organization, the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT), to the short version of the MAST in 287 primary care patients. Subjects were classified as meeting a lifetime or current DSM-III diagnosis of alcohol misuse and/or dependence based on the DIS-R interview schedule. Using the original WHO guidelines (score of 11 or more), 37 (13%) scored positive on the AUDIT and 103 (36%) had a weighted score of 5 or more on the SMAST-13. The internal reliability of the AUDIT was 0.86, compared to the SMAST-13 at 0.85. Cut-off scores in this sample for current alcohol problems, utilizing Receiver Operating Curves, were 7-8 for the AUDIT and 5 for the SMAST. This study confirms the utility of the AUDIT for current alcohol problems and the SMAST-13 for lifetime or past problems in a rural clinical sample.