Purpose: To examine the association between the availability of alcohol and male (15-24-years-old) motor vehicle fatalities.
Methods: Assessed association between motor vehicle fatality rates for each of 75 counties for males with measures of alcohol availability (whether the county was wet or dry, number of licensed on-site and off-site alcohol outlets) after controlling for other variables for a 6-year period. Poisson regression models were employed.
Results: No significant relationships were found between county-level motor vehicle fatality rates and any of the alcohol availability measures examined. However, rural residence was associated with much higher fatality rates.
Conclusions: Overall, ecologic models, employing a wide range of variables, account for little of the variance in motor vehicle fatality rates for young men. These findings support the position that further legal or regulatory restrictions on alcohol outlet licensing may not have an impact on fatalities. The higher rates associated with rural residence, while consistent with other work, cannot be explained by alcohol beverage outlets.