Pre-Drinking and the Temporal Gradient of Intoxication in a New Zealand Nightlife Environment.J Stud Alcohol Drugs 2018; 79(1):119-125JS
We measured changes in the average level of intoxication over time in the nighttime economy and identified the factors associated with intoxication, including pre-drinking.
A random intercept sample of 320 pedestrians (105 women; 215 men) was interviewed and received breath alcohol analysis in the nighttime economy of Hamilton, New Zealand. Data were collected over a five-night period, between 7 P.M. and 2:30 A.M. Data were analyzed by plotting the moving average breath alcohol concentration (BrAC) over time and using linear regression models to identify the factors associated with BrAC.
Mean BrAC was 241.5 mcg/L for the full sample; 179.7 for women and 271.7 for men, which is a statistically significant difference. Mean BrAC was also significantly higher among those who engaged in pre-drinking than those who did not. In the regression models, time of night and pre-drinking were significantly associated with higher BrAC. The effect of pre-drinking on BrAC was larger for women than for men.
The average level of intoxication increases throughout the night. However, this masks a potentially important gender difference, in that women's intoxication levels stop increasing after midnight, whereas men's increase continuously through the night. Similarly, intoxication of pre-drinkers stops increasing from 11 P.M., although remaining higher than non-pre-drinkers throughout the night. Analysis of BrAC provides a more nuanced understanding of intoxication levels in the nighttime economy.