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Alcohol-impaired motor vehicle crash risk and the location of alcohol purchase

Chad Cotti, Richard Dunn and Nathan Tefft

Social Science & Medicine, 2014, vol. 108, issue C, 201-209

Abstract: Motor vehicle crashes involving alcohol impairment are among the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the U.S. In this study, we examine how the probability of driving after a binge-drinking episode varies with the location of consumption and type of alcohol consumed. We also investigate the relationship between the location of alcohol purchase and the number of alcohol-impaired fatal motor vehicle crashes. Using multiple datasets that are representative of the U.S. between 2003 and 2009, we find that binge-drinkers are significantly more likely to drive after consuming alcohol at establishments that sell alcohol for on-premises consumption, e.g., from bars or restaurants, particularly after drinking beer. Further, per capita sales of alcohol for off-premises consumption are unrelated to the rate of alcohol-impaired fatal motor vehicle crashes. When disaggregating alcohol types, per capita sales of beer for off-premises consumption are negatively associated with the rate of alcohol-impaired fatal motor vehicle crashes. In contrast, total per capita sales of alcohol from all establishments (on- and off-premises) are positively related to the rate of alcohol-impaired fatal motor vehicle crashes and the magnitude of this relationship is strongest for beer sales. Thus, policies that shift consumption away from bars and restaurants could lead to a decline in the number of motor vehicle crashes.

Keywords: United States; Alcohol drinking; Motor vehicles; Economics; Taxes (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3)

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DOI: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2014.03.003

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