The present experiment assessed implicit alcohol motivations and explicit alcohol expectancies following the interaction between alcohol-congruent (i.e. social drinking) versus incongruent (i.e. driving safety) goal primes and recent drinking habits among college students (n = 176). Heavy drinkers exhibited greater implicit alcohol approach and explicit tension reduction expectancies following social goal primes, while displaying greater implicit alcohol avoidance and explicit cognitive and behavioural impairment expectancies after driving safety goal primes. These findings indicate recent drinking habits interact with goal salience to influence explicit and implicit responses to alcohol, which has implications for the development of interventions to reduce college drinking.