Limits on hours of sales and service: Effects on traffic safety

Vingilis, Evelyn (2007) Limits on hours of sales and service: Effects on traffic safety. Transportation Research Circular, E-C123, pp. 120-129.


The relationship among physical availability of alcohol, alcohol consumption, and alcohol-related problems is multifaceted and complex (Ashley and Rankin, 1988; Giesbrecht and Greenfield, 2003; Grube and Stewart, 2004; Skog, 2003). Availability theory posits that alcohol availability influences consumption levels, which influence alcohol problem levels, such as rates of impaired driving and alcohol-related crashes, in a population. The availability theory approach to alcohol problems is predicated on the assumption that alcohol problems can be reduced by lowering the amount of alcohol consumed in society (Anatalova and Martinic, 2005; Chikritzhs and Stockwell, 1997; Grube and Stewart; Ragnarsdottir et al., 2002; Rush et al., 1986). Alcohol control policies are one such set of "public health measures" that governments, agencies, or industry can implement to reduce per capita consumption. This essentially occurs through the imposition of various "barriers" that control consumer–product interaction (Ashley and Rankin, 1988). Thus, the rationale behind availability theory underlies restrictions on hours of sale or service for which alcohol may be sold for off-premise and on-premise consumption (Anatalova and Martinic, 2005). However, availability theory is not the only conceptual framework that has been used to inform alcohol control policies. For on-premise consumption, "power drinking," "last call," or "six o'clock swill" has been suggested as a competing hypothesis (Chikritzhs and Stockwell, 2002; Foster, 2003; Grube and Stewart, 2003; Room, 1988; Ragnarsdottir et al., 2002). This hypothesis suggests that tight restrictions on closing times lead to great numbers of drinkers consuming as much alcohol as possible at last call for the service of alcohol, shortly before the licensed establishment closes. This means increased blood alcohol concentrations (BACs) of patrons as they imbibe large amounts of alcohol (power drinking) over a short time period. These crowds of patrons leaving licensed establishments at closing times then become involved in increased levels of intentional and unintentional injuries and other types of damage. This hypothesis has often been cited as evidence that closing hours of licensed establishments should be less restricted as a way to reduce alcohol-related problems (Chikritzhs and Stockwell, 2002; Ragnarsdóttir et al., 2002).

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ID Code: 15761
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: No
Additional Information: The contents of this volume can be freely accessed online via the URL provided (see above).
Additional URLs:
ISSN: 0097-8515
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > PUBLIC HEALTH AND HEALTH SERVICES (111700) > Preventive Medicine (111716)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > COMMERCE MANAGEMENT TOURISM AND SERVICES (150000) > TRANSPORTATION AND FREIGHT SERVICES (150700) > Road Transportation and Freight Services (150703)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > Centre for Accident Research & Road Safety - Qld (CARRS-Q)
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Psychology & Counselling
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2007 National Academy of Sciences
Deposited On: 27 Nov 2008 00:00
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2011 04:02

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