Alcohol availability and alcohol-related crashes: does distance make a difference?

Am J Drug Alcohol Abuse. 1995 Aug;21(3):407-16. doi: 10.3109/00952999509002706.


Variations in alcohol control laws can cause problems if individuals travel to less restrictive jurisdictions to purchase alcohol to circumvent more restrictive regulations. The establishment of a national minimum drinking age of 21 is an example of an attempt to eliminate the phenomenon known as "border drinking." However, it exists today in many southern states that have dry counties. The present study analyzes Kentucky's 77 dry counties to determine if rates of six types of motor vehicle crashes are affected by distance to legal alcohol. The analysis indicates that the distance variable is significantly and negatively related to rate of alcohol-related injury crashes but does not appear to be a substantial determinant of accident rates in dry counties.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Traffic / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Accidents, Traffic / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Alcoholic Beverages / supply & distribution*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Intoxication / prevention & control
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Kentucky / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control