Blood alcohol concentrations among bar patrons: A multi-level study of drinking behavior

John D. Clapp, Mark B. Reed, Jong W. Min, Audrey M. Shillington, Julie M. Croff, Megan R. Holmes, Ryan S. Trim

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


This paper presents data from a study that collected observational data, survey data, and breath samples to estimate blood alcohol concentrations (BrAC) from patrons attending 30 bars. The study examines: (1) drinking behavior and settings prior to going to a bar; (2) characteristics of the bar where respondents are drinking; (3) person and environmental predictors of BrAC change (entrance to exit). Purposive sampling of bars that cater to young adults gave a sample of 30 bars. Patrons were randomly selected from bars (n = 839). Approximately half of the sample was female (48.7%). Nearly three-quarters of participants reported drinking before attending the bar. Serving practices of the bars were observed; majority of bars served excessive amounts of alcohol in short periods of time. On average, those who drank before attending the bar had BrACs at approximately half the legal limit. Implications for responsible beverage service coupled with law enforcement strategies are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-48
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Dependence
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • Bars
  • BrAC
  • Drinking settings
  • Environment


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