Alcohol-related injuries, hazardous drinking, and BrAC levels among a sample of bar patrons

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Background:Alcohol-related injuries are a serious public health issue and research has found that alcohol consumption is positively correlated with injury risk.Objective:To better understand the association between alcohol consumption and injury risk.Methods:We conducted four anonymous cross-sectional field studies among a sample of bar patrons (N = 917) to assess breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) levels, hazardous drinking levels (based on AUDIT-C score), and past year alcohol-related injuries in Fall 2014. Next, we conducted two logistic regression analyses to predict alcohol-related injuries: one model used hazardous drinking level as a predictor variable and the other model used BrAC.Results:Among participants in our sample, the average BrAC% was .076 (SD =.055) and the average hazardous drinking score (based on the AUDIT-C) was 5.0 (SD = 2.6). The majority of participants indicated that they had not experienced an alcohol-related injury in the past year (859; 93.7%). Our regression analyses found that each incremental increase in a participants’ hazardous drinking score increased the odds of experiencing a self-reported alcohol-related injury by 1.4 times and as BrAC increased one unit of change (percentage), the odds of a past-year alcohol related injury increased twofold (OR = 2.2). Other covariates (ie, age, gender, race, college student status) did not significantly predict alcohol-related injuries in either model.Discussion and Conclusions:High-risk drinking behaviors, including higher BrAC levels, greatly influenced experiencing an alcohol-related injury.Scientific Significance:This is the first examination of BrAC levels and alcohol-related injuries in a primarily college student sample. (Am J Addict 2016;25:132–137)

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