Effects of a community intervention to reduce the serving of alcohol to intoxicated patrons

Authors


Katariina Warpenius, National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Department of Alcohol, Drugs and Addiction, PO Box 30, FI-00271, Helsinki, Finland. E-mail: katariina.warpenius@thl.fi

ABSTRACT

Aims To assess the effects of an alcohol prevention programme to reduce the serving of alcoholic beverages to intoxicated clients on licensed premises.

Research design A controlled pre- (2004) and post-intervention study (2006) design.

Intervention A community-based programme combining law enforcement, responsible beverage service training, information campaigns and policy initiatives in one Finnish town (Jyväskylä).

Participants and measurements A male actor pretended to be clearly under the influence of alcohol and tried to buy a pint of beer at licensed premises. For the baseline measurement, every bar and nightclub was visited in the intervention and the control areas (94 licensed premises in total). Post-intervention data were gathered with the same principles (100 licensed premises in total). A researcher observed every visit and documented the results.

Results In the post-intervention study there was a statistically significant increase in refusals to serve denials alcohol to the actor in the intervention area (from 23% to 42% of the licensed premises) compared to refusals in the control area (from 36% to 27% of the licensed premises).

Conclusion Previous research has documented that multi-component community-based interventions can have a significant impact on over-serving of alcohol when training and house policies are combined with effective law enforcement. The present findings also demonstrate that comprehensive Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) interventions applied at a local community level can be effective in decreasing service to intoxicated clients in a Nordic context.

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