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Perception of intoxication in a field study of the night-time economy: Blood alcohol concentration, patron characteristics, and event-level predictors

Kaestle, CE, Droste, N, Peacock, A ORCID: 0000-0002-5705-2026, Bruno, R ORCID: 0000-0001-6673-833X and Miller, P 2018 , 'Perception of intoxication in a field study of the night-time economy: Blood alcohol concentration, patron characteristics, and event-level predictors' , Addictive Behaviors, vol. 76 , pp. 195-200 , doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.08.018.

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Abstract

Objective: Determine the relationship of subjective intoxication to blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and examinewhether patron and event-level characteristics modify the relationship of BAC to subjective intoxication.Methods: An in-situ systematic random sample of alcohol consumers attending night-time entertainment districtsbetween 10 pm and 3 am on Friday and Saturday nights in five Australian cities completed a brief interview(n = 4628). Participants reported age, sex, and pre-drinking, energy drink, tobacco, illicit stimulant and otherillicit drug use that night, and their subjective intoxication and BAC were assessed.Results: Male and female drinkers displayed equally low sensitivity to the impact of alcohol consumption whenself-assessing their intoxication (BAC only explained 19% of variance). The marginal effect of BAC was notconstant. At low BAC, participants were somewhat sensitive to increases in alcohol consumption, but at higherBAC levels that modest sensitivity dissipated (actual BAC had less impact on self-assessed intoxication). Theslope ultimately leveled out to be non-responsive to additional alcohol intake. Staying out late, pre-drinking, andbeing young introduced biases resulting in higher self-assessed intoxication regardless of actual BAC. Further,both energy drinks and stimulant use modified the association between BAC and perceived intoxication, resultingin more compressed changes in self-assessment as BAC varies up or down, indicating less ability toperceive differences in BAC level.Conclusions: The ability of intoxicated patrons to detect further intoxication is impaired. Co-consumption ofenergy drinks and/or stimulant drugs is associated with impaired intoxication judgment, creating an additionalchallenge for the responsible service and consumption of alcohol.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kaestle, CE and Droste, N and Peacock, A and Bruno, R and Miller, P
Keywords: intoxication; alcohol; harm reduction
Journal or Publication Title: Addictive Behaviors
Publisher: Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd
ISSN: 0306-4603
DOI / ID Number: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2017.08.018
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2017 Elsevier Ltd.

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