Can We Assess Blood Alcohol Levels of Attendees Leaving Professional Sporting Events?

Authors


Reprint requests: Darin Erickson, PhD, University of Minnesota, Division of Epidemiology & Community Health, 1300 South Second Street, Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55454; Tel.: 612-626-0516; Fax: 612-624-0315; Email: erick232@umn.edu

Abstract

Background:  We measured blood alcohol content (BAC) levels of attendees at professional sporting events and assessed the factors associated with higher BACs.

Methods:  We conducted BAC tests of 362 adult attendees following 13 baseball games and three football games. We ran multivariate analyses to obtain factors associated with the risk of having a higher BAC.

Results:  In this assessment, 40% of the participants had a positive BAC, ranging from 0.005 to 0.217. Those who reported tailgating before the event had 14 times the odds of having a BAC > 0.08 and those under age 35 had nearly 8 times the odds of having a BAC > 0.08 (both compared to a zero BAC). Attendees of Monday night football games were more likely to have positive BACs compared to attendees at all other games.

Conclusions:  We found that it is feasible to assess BAC levels of attendees at professional sporting events. Our findings suggest that a significant number of attendees at professional sporting events may have elevated BAC levels, particularly young adults and those who participated in tailgating activities. Further research using a representative sample is warranted to confirm the findings from this preliminary study.

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