Alcohol Availability and Injury: The Role of Local Outlet Densities


  • Supported by the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) and the NIAAA Grant AA09146 to the Prevention Research Center, Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation.

Andrew J. Treno, PhD, Prevention Research Center, 2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 900, Berkeley, CA 94704; Fax: 510-644-0594; E-mail:


Background: We analyzed the relationship between alcohol availability and injury that occurred during the 6 months before survey administration.

Method: The data examined were from a general population survey administered to 13,440 California respondents as part of a community-based project to reduce alcohol-involved injury and death. Two separate analyses were performed. The first considered individual local outlet densities (which included both on-premise establishments such as bars and restaurants and off-premise establishments such as liquor and grocery stores) as they affect individual phone survey respondents’ self-reported injuries. To address potential spatially autocorrelated errors and geographically lagged effects, a second analysis considered aggregate outlet densities within geographic areas as they affect the proportion of survey respondents who reported injury. No spatial autocorrelation or significant lagged effects were found, which supported our individual-level analyses.

Results: Our analyses indicated an association between both on-premise and off-premise individual-level outlet densities and self-reported injuries.

Conclusion: Alcohol availability seems to be related to self-reported injury. The mechanisms behind this relationship, however, are not clear, and further study is indicated.