Author(s): Chikritzhs T, Stockwell T
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Abstract AIM: To examine the impact of later trading hours for licensed hotels in Perth, Western Australia on levels of associated impaired driver road crashes and driver breath alcohol levels (BALs). DESIGN: Police data on the "last place of drinking" for impaired drivers involved in road crashes and their corresponding BALs were examined to identify those associated with Perth hotels between 1 July 1990 and 30 June 1997. During this period, 43 (23\%) of the 186 hotels meeting study criteria were granted an Extended Trading Permit for 1 a.m. closing (ETP hotels), while the rest continued to close at midnight (non-ETP hotels). Time-series analyses employing multiple linear regressions were applied to determine whether an association existed between the introduction of extended trading and (i) monthly levels of impaired driver road crashes associated with ETP hotels and (ii) driver BALs associated with ETP hotels. Trends associated with non-ETP hotels were included as controls and possible confounders were considered. FINDINGS: After controlling for the trend in crash rates associated with non-ETP hotels and the introduction of mobile police breath testing stations to Perth freeways, a significant increase in monthly crash rates for ETP hotels was found. This relationship was largely accounted for by higher volumes of high-alcohol content beer, wine and spirits purchased by ETP hotels. No relation was found between driver BALs and the introduction of ETPs. CONCLUSIONS: Late trading was associated with increased levels of impaired driver road crashes and alcohol consumption, particularly high-risk alcoholic beverages. Greater numbers of patrons and characteristics specific to clientele of hotels which applied for late trading hours (i.e. younger age, greater propensity to drunk-drive, preference for high-risk beverages) were suggested as having contributed to this increase.
This article was published in Addiction
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals