Extended Alcohol Sales Haven't Increased Alcohol-Related Crashes

Arizona law recently extended alcohol sales from 1:00 am to 2:00 am and permitted patrons to continue drinking for 75 minutes longer than before (from 1:15 until 2:30 am).

Supporters of the legislation, including the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Tourism Alliance, said extending the hours of alcohol service would be desirable for two major reasons. First, it would reduce the number of impaired and intoxicated drivers who were on the road around 1:00 am when moviegoers and many others are returning home. Second, it would benefit the very important hospitality industry.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and other opponents insisted that the new law would lead to increased drunk driving and more alcohol-related traffic accidents.

The results of the extended alcohol sales? Reports by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety and the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control have been obtained by the Associated Press. They indicate that the extended service has shifted many alcohol-related crashes and DUI arrests to a later hour but has not increased their numbers.

In the words of the Director of the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, “It appears that the extended drinking hours have not led to any additional DUI arrests or alcohol-related crashes.”

The results of later closings or “last calls” for alcohol in Arizona are consistent with that reported elsewhere.

References

  • Later alcohol sales don’t increase crashes, DUI arrests. Associated Press, March 1, 2005.

Readings

  • Cassidy, Nigel. Pubs snub 24 hour opening. BBC News, March 17, 2005.
  • Easton, Mark. Coping with 24 hour pub opening. BBC, January 21, 2005.
  • Halstead, Richard. Novato woman testifies at state hearing; son killed by suspected drunken driver. Marin Independent Journal, April 20, 2004.
  • Jones, Tony. Round-the-clock drinking shunned. The Scotsman, March 18, 2005.
  • Minchin, Rod. The 24 hour drinking damp squib. The Scotsman, March 18, 2005.
  • Pub Beer is Still Warm, even 24/7. New York Times, November 16, 2002, p. A6.
  • Reilly, Shannon and Snider, Julie. Drinking five or more drinks in a day. USA Today, May, 21, 2004.
  • Skinner, Miles. 24-hour party poopers. South Manchester Reporter, March 20, 2005.
  • The Last Call Act of 2004 (www.lastcallact.com).
  • What 24 hour drinking? The Rundown, March 18, 2005.

Filed Under: Drinking and Driving