Enforcement against service of alcohol to inoxicated patrons
Of drivers killed in highway crashes close to a third were impaired by alcohol. Although service to intoxicated patrons is prohibited by law in all states, from a third to a half of intoxicated drivers consume their last drink at a licensed establishment.
An intervention was developed to reduce the service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons of licensed establishments.
Undercover police officers were sent in to establishments to enforce refusal of service to visibly intoxicated patrons, as required by state and local law throughout the U.S.
Enforcement of the law achieved a 40% reduction in service to pseudopatrons exhibiting signs of intoxication as well as a 25% reduction in the proportion of intoxicated drivers consuming alcohol at licensed establishments.
Enforcement of laws prohibiting service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons of licensed establishments provides one, and probably the only, means of reducing alcohol impaired driving.
Servers in licensed establishments serving alcoholic beverages to "visibly intoxicated" patrons.
Focus upon greatest sources of arrested DWIs (Driving While Intoxicated).
Based upon the need for enforcement to achieve compliance with any law.
Enforcement visits to each licensed establishment and instruction in identitifying signs of intoxication.
The evaluation showed a 40% greater reduction in service to pseudo patrons and a 25% greater reduction in arrested DWIs from licensed establishments
The oucome showed the intervention as capable of reducing alcohol impaired driving, which reduces the prospect of injury and death both to those consuming alcoholic beverages at licensed establishments and to drivers with whom they share the road.
A cost-benefit analysis showed a net benefit to the public of $90 per dollar of enforcement. A problem that is often overlooked in such analyses is that the benefit is realized by the public and doesn't help to defray the cost born by enforcement agencies.
An attempt to overcome the problem just described has been to design the enforcement intervention in a way that allows it to be implemented by transfering 50 hours per year of current staff time from other duties to enforcement, with no increase in cost to ABC agencies. A proposal to evaluate such an intervention has been forwarded to NIAAA (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).
McKnight, A. J., & Streff, F. M. (1994). The effect of enforcement upon service of alcohol to intoxicated patrons of bars and restaurants. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 26(1), 79-88.
An abstract for this journal article can be found in the HNT literature section here.