Initial findings of this study were presented at the 27th Annual Scientific Meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism, June 30, 2004 in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Preventing youth access to alcohol: outcomes from a multi-community time-series trial*
Article first published online: 12 OCT 2005
Volume 100, Issue 3, pages 335–345, March 2005
How to Cite
Wagenaar, A. C., Toomey, T. L. and Erickson, D. J. (2005), Preventing youth access to alcohol: outcomes from a multi-community time-series trial. Addiction, 100: 335–345. doi: 10.1111/j.1360-0443.2005.00973.x
- Issue published online: 12 OCT 2005
- Article first published online: 12 OCT 2005
- Submitted 12 January 2004; initial review completed 20 March 2004; final version accepted 4 September 2004
- drinking age;
Aims/intervention The Complying with the Minimum Drinking Age project (CMDA) is a community trial designed to test effects of two interventions designed to reduce alcohol sales to minors: (1) training for management of retail alcohol establishments and (2) enforcement checks of alcohol establishments.
Design CMDA is a multi-community time-series quasi-experimental trial with a nested cohort design.
Setting/participants CMDA was implemented in 20 cities in four geographic areas in the US Midwest.
Measurements The core outcome, propensity for alcohol sales to minors, was directly tested with research staff who attempted to purchase alcohol without showing age identification using a standardized protocol in 602 on-premise and 340 off-premise alcohol establishments. Data were collected every other week in all communities over 4 years. Mixed-model regression and Box–Jenkins time-series analyses were used to assess short- and long-term establishment-specific and general community-level effects of the two interventions.
Findings Effects of the training intervention were mixed. Specific deterrent effects were observed for enforcement checks, with an immediate 17% reduction in likelihood of sales to minors. These effects decayed entirely within 3 months in off-premise establishments and to an 8.2% reduction in on-premise establishments.
Conclusions Enforcement checks prevent alcohol sales to minors. At the intensity levels tested, enforcement primarily affected specific establishments checked, with limited diffusion to the whole community. Finally, most of the enforcement effect decayed within 3 months, suggesting that a regular schedule of enforcement is necessary to maintain deterrence.