One for the road: On the utility of citation data for identifying problem hotels

Authors

  • Les J. Wood,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
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      Les J. Wood, PhD, MA, Senior Lecturer, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, PO Box 252C, Hobart 7001, Australia.

  • Stuart McLean,

    1. Tasmanian School of Pharmacy, Hobart, Australia
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      Stuart McLean, PhD, MPharm, Associate Professor, Tasmanian School of Pharmacy, PO Box 252C, Hobart 7001, Australia.

  • Jodie Davidson,

    1. Tasmanian School of Pharmacy, Hobart, Australia
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      Jodie Davidson, BPharm, Research Assistant, Tasmanian School of Pharmacy, PO Box 252C, Hobart 7001, Australia.

  • Iain M. Montgomery

    1. Department of Psychology, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia
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      Iain M. Montgomery, PhD, MA, Senior Lecturer, Department of Psychology, University of Tasmania, PO Box 252C, Hobart 7001, Australia.


Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

Abstract

Drink drivers arrested in Tasmania are routinely asked by police where they had last been drinking, and these data were examined for 716 drivers arrested in Southern Tasmania during a 4-month period in 1992. Nearly half (43%) of arrested drink drivers cited individual hotels as the place where they had last been drinking. This enabled a citation score to be assigned to each of the 82 hotels in metropolitan Hobart. The distribution of citation scores was highly skewed, with eight hotels accounting for 45% of hotel citations, and two accounting for 20%. The hotels' citation scores were compared in relation to the rank order of their licence fees, since better measures of patronage proved unobtainable. Some hotels with small total alcohol sales did appear to have an unexpectedly large number of citations, suggesting less than responsible serving practices. Hoteliers' comments were sought on the interpretation of citation scores, and incorporated into a discussion of the limitations of the data in determining the extent of individual hotel responsibility for drink drivers. Important questions remaining include (1) what is the validity of citations made by drink drivers at the time of arrest; (2) what appropriate and quantifiable denominator can be used to adjust the number of citations to the level of patronage; and (3) what level of citations is too high and requires action?

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