Observable characteristics associated with alcohol intoxication within licensed entertainment venues in Australia Academic Article uri icon


  • The aim of the current study was to assess correlates of intoxication in licensed venues in Australia.Covert observations of licensed venues and venue patron in night-time entertainment districts of five Australian cities were conducted. In total, 828 unique cross-sectional observations were completed across 62 bars, nightclubs, and large mainstream pubs. Venues were selected from the main entertainment district of smaller cities and the busiest entertainment districts of larger cities. Outcomes were the estimated percentage of patrons showing any signs of alcohol intoxication and the overall level of intoxication ('high' versus 'none to medium'). Seven predictors of patron intoxication were examined: hour of observation; estimated percentage of male patrons; estimated percentage of patrons <25 years old; venue crowding; presence of observable alcohol promotions; type of alcoholic beverage consumed by the majority of patrons; and, venue type.Time of night (coefficient=11.71, p<.001; OR=9.61, p<.001), percentage of patrons aged <25 (coefficient=0.14, p<.001; OR=1.01, p=.031), and venue crowding (coefficient=4.40, p<.001; OR=1.39, p=.009) had significant positive associations with both signs of intoxication and high levels of intoxication. Nightclubs had a lower percentage of signs of intoxication compared to pubs (coefficient=-10.73, p=.021). Increased percentage of male patrons was associated with increased odds of high-level intoxication (OR=1.05, p=.020).Time of night and proportion of younger patrons had a strong association with patron intoxication adding further support for the strong body of evidence that ceasing service of alcohol earlier in the evening will reduce intoxication levels.


  • Coomber, K
  • Pennay, A
  • Droste, N
  • Mayshak, R
  • Martino, F
  • Bowe, SJ
  • Miller, PG

publication date

  • 2016

has subject area