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Judgement of Breath Alcohol Concentration Levels Among Pedestrians in the Night-Time Economy-A Street-Intercept Field Study.
Alcohol Alcohol 2018; 53(3):245-250AA

Abstract

Aims

To evaluate how well people in the night-time economy can assess their own breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), in the context of a change in breath alcohol limits for driving.

Methods

We conducted a field study of 242 participants over 5 nights in the central business district of a university town in New Zealand. Participants completed a short survey, which included questions on their self-reported level of intoxication and the self-estimated BrAC. At the conclusion of the interview each participant was breath-tested. We compared actual and self-estimated BrAC using a scatter plot and multiple regression methods.

Results

The average BrAC error was 61.7 μg/l, meaning that on average participants overestimate their BrAC. Participants with a BrAC below 487 μg/l tended to overestimate their BrAC on average, and those with a BrAC above 487 μg/l tended to underestimate their BrAC on average. Regression results supported this observation, but also found that men who are not 'out on a typical night' overestimate their BrAC by more.

Conclusions

Drinkers in this naturalistic setting have little idea of their level of intoxication, as measured by BrAC. However, this uncertainty may be advantageous to public health outcomes, since if drinkers are uncertain about their level of intoxication relative to the legal limit, this may lead them to avoid drunk driving.

Short Summary

A field study of drinkers in the night-time economy of a New Zealand university town was conducted to evaluate how well drinkers can assess their breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). Drinkers in this setting inaccurately estimate their intoxication, and those with higher BrAC tended to underestimate their BrAC on average.

Authors+Show Affiliations

Department of Economics, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand. National Institute of Demographic and Economic Analysis, University of Waikato, Private Bag 3105, Hamilton 3240, New Zealand.School of Economics and Finance, Massey University, Private Bag 102904, Auckland 0745, New Zealand.School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Deakin University Geelong, Locked Bag 20001, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia.School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Deakin University Geelong, Locked Bag 20001, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article

Language

eng

PubMed ID

29329406

Citation

Cameron, M P., et al. "Judgement of Breath Alcohol Concentration Levels Among Pedestrians in the Night-Time Economy-A Street-Intercept Field Study." Alcohol and Alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), vol. 53, no. 3, 2018, pp. 245-250.
Cameron MP, Roskruge MJ, Droste N, et al. Judgement of Breath Alcohol Concentration Levels Among Pedestrians in the Night-Time Economy-A Street-Intercept Field Study. Alcohol Alcohol. 2018;53(3):245-250.
Cameron, M. P., Roskruge, M. J., Droste, N., & Miller, P. G. (2018). Judgement of Breath Alcohol Concentration Levels Among Pedestrians in the Night-Time Economy-A Street-Intercept Field Study. Alcohol and Alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire), 53(3), pp. 245-250. doi:10.1093/alcalc/agx118.
Cameron MP, et al. Judgement of Breath Alcohol Concentration Levels Among Pedestrians in the Night-Time Economy-A Street-Intercept Field Study. Alcohol Alcohol. 2018 May 1;53(3):245-250. PubMed PMID: 29329406.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Judgement of Breath Alcohol Concentration Levels Among Pedestrians in the Night-Time Economy-A Street-Intercept Field Study. AU - Cameron,M P, AU - Roskruge,M J, AU - Droste,N, AU - Miller,P G, PY - 2017/07/04/received PY - 2017/12/16/accepted PY - 2018/1/13/pubmed PY - 2018/9/25/medline PY - 2018/1/13/entrez SP - 245 EP - 250 JF - Alcohol and alcoholism (Oxford, Oxfordshire) JO - Alcohol Alcohol. VL - 53 IS - 3 N2 - Aims: To evaluate how well people in the night-time economy can assess their own breath alcohol concentration (BrAC), in the context of a change in breath alcohol limits for driving. Methods: We conducted a field study of 242 participants over 5 nights in the central business district of a university town in New Zealand. Participants completed a short survey, which included questions on their self-reported level of intoxication and the self-estimated BrAC. At the conclusion of the interview each participant was breath-tested. We compared actual and self-estimated BrAC using a scatter plot and multiple regression methods. Results: The average BrAC error was 61.7 μg/l, meaning that on average participants overestimate their BrAC. Participants with a BrAC below 487 μg/l tended to overestimate their BrAC on average, and those with a BrAC above 487 μg/l tended to underestimate their BrAC on average. Regression results supported this observation, but also found that men who are not 'out on a typical night' overestimate their BrAC by more. Conclusions: Drinkers in this naturalistic setting have little idea of their level of intoxication, as measured by BrAC. However, this uncertainty may be advantageous to public health outcomes, since if drinkers are uncertain about their level of intoxication relative to the legal limit, this may lead them to avoid drunk driving. Short Summary: A field study of drinkers in the night-time economy of a New Zealand university town was conducted to evaluate how well drinkers can assess their breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). Drinkers in this setting inaccurately estimate their intoxication, and those with higher BrAC tended to underestimate their BrAC on average. SN - 1464-3502 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/29329406/Judgement_of_Breath_Alcohol_Concentration_Levels_Among_Pedestrians_in_the_Night_Time_Economy_A_Street_Intercept_Field_Study_ L2 - https://academic.oup.com/alcalc/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/alcalc/agx118 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -