How did a lower drink-drive limit affect bar trade and drinking practices? A qualitative study of how alcohol retailers experienced a change in policy

Colin Sumpter, Andrea Mohan, Jennifer McKell, James Lewsey, Carol Emslie, NIamh Fitzgerald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Introduction and Aims
Reducing the legal drink-drive limit from 0.08% to 0.05% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can reduce road traffic accidents and deaths if properly enforced. Reduced limits may be opposed by alcohol retail and manufacturing industries on the basis of commercial impact. Our aim was to qualitatively explore how a reduction in the drink-drive limit from 0.08% to 0.05% BAC in Scotland, was experienced by bar owners or managers, including any resultant changes in customer drinking or business practice. This is the first study of this type.

Design and Methods
Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 owners and managers of on-trade premises in Scotland in 2018, approximately 3 years after the drink-drive limit was reduced. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.
Results Most participants reported no long-term financial impact on their business, but a few, mainly from rural areas, reported some reduction in alcohol sales. Observed drinking changes included fewer people drinking after work or leaving premises earlier on weekdays. Adaptations to businesses included improving the range of no/low-alcohol drinks and food offered. Changes such as these were seen as key to minimising economic impact.

Discussion and Conclusions Opposition to legislative measures that impact on commercial interests is often strong and receives significant public attention. This study found that Scottish businesses that adapted to the drink-drive limit change reported little long-term economic impact. These findings are of international relevance as potential BAC limit reductions in several other jurisdictions remain the subject of debate, including regarding the impact on business.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)170-179
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Volume39
Issue number2
Early online date8 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020

Fingerprint

Drinking
alcohol
Alcohols
Scotland
economic impact
Economics
manager
Traffic Accidents
manufacturing industry
traffic accident
road traffic
sales
jurisdiction
rural area
opposition
customer
Interviews
food
death
Food

Keywords

  • alcohol policy
  • BAC limit
  • alcohol retail environment
  • low alcohol alternatives
  • drink‐driving

Cite this

Sumpter, Colin ; Mohan, Andrea ; McKell, Jennifer ; Lewsey, James ; Emslie, Carol ; Fitzgerald, NIamh. / How did a lower drink-drive limit affect bar trade and drinking practices? A qualitative study of how alcohol retailers experienced a change in policy. In: Drug and Alcohol Review. 2020 ; Vol. 39, No. 2. pp. 170-179.
@article{58a41415872e464796469cb3956218d2,
title = "How did a lower drink-drive limit affect bar trade and drinking practices? A qualitative study of how alcohol retailers experienced a change in policy",
abstract = "Introduction and Aims Reducing the legal drink-drive limit from 0.08{\%} to 0.05{\%} blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can reduce road traffic accidents and deaths if properly enforced. Reduced limits may be opposed by alcohol retail and manufacturing industries on the basis of commercial impact. Our aim was to qualitatively explore how a reduction in the drink-drive limit from 0.08{\%} to 0.05{\%} BAC in Scotland, was experienced by bar owners or managers, including any resultant changes in customer drinking or business practice. This is the first study of this type.Design and Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 owners and managers of on-trade premises in Scotland in 2018, approximately 3 years after the drink-drive limit was reduced. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.Results Most participants reported no long-term financial impact on their business, but a few, mainly from rural areas, reported some reduction in alcohol sales. Observed drinking changes included fewer people drinking after work or leaving premises earlier on weekdays. Adaptations to businesses included improving the range of no/low-alcohol drinks and food offered. Changes such as these were seen as key to minimising economic impact. Discussion and Conclusions Opposition to legislative measures that impact on commercial interests is often strong and receives significant public attention. This study found that Scottish businesses that adapted to the drink-drive limit change reported little long-term economic impact. These findings are of international relevance as potential BAC limit reductions in several other jurisdictions remain the subject of debate, including regarding the impact on business.",
keywords = "alcohol policy, BAC limit, alcohol retail environment, low alcohol alternatives, drink‐driving",
author = "Colin Sumpter and Andrea Mohan and Jennifer McKell and James Lewsey and Carol Emslie and NIamh Fitzgerald",
note = "Acceptance in SAN (note different date on VoR - used this ET) OA article AAM: 12m embargo",
year = "2020",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1111/dar.12999",
language = "English",
volume = "39",
pages = "170--179",
journal = "Drug and Alcohol Review",
issn = "0959-5236",
publisher = "John Wiley & Sons",
number = "2",

}

How did a lower drink-drive limit affect bar trade and drinking practices? A qualitative study of how alcohol retailers experienced a change in policy. / Sumpter, Colin; Mohan, Andrea; McKell, Jennifer; Lewsey, James; Emslie, Carol; Fitzgerald, NIamh.

In: Drug and Alcohol Review, Vol. 39, No. 2, 02.2020, p. 170-179.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - How did a lower drink-drive limit affect bar trade and drinking practices? A qualitative study of how alcohol retailers experienced a change in policy

AU - Sumpter, Colin

AU - Mohan, Andrea

AU - McKell, Jennifer

AU - Lewsey, James

AU - Emslie, Carol

AU - Fitzgerald, NIamh

N1 - Acceptance in SAN (note different date on VoR - used this ET) OA article AAM: 12m embargo

PY - 2020/2

Y1 - 2020/2

N2 - Introduction and Aims Reducing the legal drink-drive limit from 0.08% to 0.05% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can reduce road traffic accidents and deaths if properly enforced. Reduced limits may be opposed by alcohol retail and manufacturing industries on the basis of commercial impact. Our aim was to qualitatively explore how a reduction in the drink-drive limit from 0.08% to 0.05% BAC in Scotland, was experienced by bar owners or managers, including any resultant changes in customer drinking or business practice. This is the first study of this type.Design and Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 owners and managers of on-trade premises in Scotland in 2018, approximately 3 years after the drink-drive limit was reduced. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.Results Most participants reported no long-term financial impact on their business, but a few, mainly from rural areas, reported some reduction in alcohol sales. Observed drinking changes included fewer people drinking after work or leaving premises earlier on weekdays. Adaptations to businesses included improving the range of no/low-alcohol drinks and food offered. Changes such as these were seen as key to minimising economic impact. Discussion and Conclusions Opposition to legislative measures that impact on commercial interests is often strong and receives significant public attention. This study found that Scottish businesses that adapted to the drink-drive limit change reported little long-term economic impact. These findings are of international relevance as potential BAC limit reductions in several other jurisdictions remain the subject of debate, including regarding the impact on business.

AB - Introduction and Aims Reducing the legal drink-drive limit from 0.08% to 0.05% blood alcohol concentration (BAC) can reduce road traffic accidents and deaths if properly enforced. Reduced limits may be opposed by alcohol retail and manufacturing industries on the basis of commercial impact. Our aim was to qualitatively explore how a reduction in the drink-drive limit from 0.08% to 0.05% BAC in Scotland, was experienced by bar owners or managers, including any resultant changes in customer drinking or business practice. This is the first study of this type.Design and Methods Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 16 owners and managers of on-trade premises in Scotland in 2018, approximately 3 years after the drink-drive limit was reduced. Data were analysed using thematic analysis.Results Most participants reported no long-term financial impact on their business, but a few, mainly from rural areas, reported some reduction in alcohol sales. Observed drinking changes included fewer people drinking after work or leaving premises earlier on weekdays. Adaptations to businesses included improving the range of no/low-alcohol drinks and food offered. Changes such as these were seen as key to minimising economic impact. Discussion and Conclusions Opposition to legislative measures that impact on commercial interests is often strong and receives significant public attention. This study found that Scottish businesses that adapted to the drink-drive limit change reported little long-term economic impact. These findings are of international relevance as potential BAC limit reductions in several other jurisdictions remain the subject of debate, including regarding the impact on business.

KW - alcohol policy

KW - BAC limit

KW - alcohol retail environment

KW - low alcohol alternatives

KW - drink‐driving

U2 - 10.1111/dar.12999

DO - 10.1111/dar.12999

M3 - Article

VL - 39

SP - 170

EP - 179

JO - Drug and Alcohol Review

JF - Drug and Alcohol Review

SN - 0959-5236

IS - 2

ER -