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Alcohol-related crashes and alcohol availability in grass-roots communities

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This paper employs a unique panel data from 111 small non-metropolitan incorporated cities in California during a 108 month period from January 1981 to December 1989 in order to analyse the effect of alcohol availability on highway safety. Negative binomial regression models are estimated which include alcohol licences per square mile as a measure of alcohol availability. Theoretically, the sign of the alcohol licence density is indeterminate as it reflects a trade-off of its effect on traffic exposure and on the time price alcohol. Among the findings, increases in the density of general alcohol licences for off-site (on-site) alcohol consumption are beneficial (detrimental) to highway safety whereas increasing the density of beer/wine licences have non-uniform effects. Additional findings important to municipal policymakers are that DUI arrests and increasing the price of alcohol reduce alcohol-related crashes.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: School of Economics, The Ivan Allen College, Atlanta, Georgia 30332-0615 USA, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 20 July 2003

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