Place of last drink enforcement: Effects on alcohol-related traffic crashes

Kathleen M. Lenk, Traci L. Toomey, Richard F. MacLehose, Natalie Scholz, Daniel Schriemer, Toben F Nelson, Eileen Delehanty, Linda M. Bosma, Kari Gloppen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Binge drinking can result in various types of harms including traffic crashes. Bars and restaurants that serve alcohol to patrons who are obviously intoxicated (i.e., overservice) contribute to these crashes. One strategy to address overservice is place of last drink (POLD) where law enforcement officers responding to alcohol-related incidents inquire about where the individuals last drank alcohol. This information may then be used to identify bars and restaurants that frequently overserve alcohol. There is limited evaluation of the effectiveness of POLD in reducing overservice, traffic crashes, and other harms. Methods: We evaluated the effects of a POLD initiative, developed by some law enforcement agencies in Minnesota (USA), on alcohol-related traffic crashes from 2010 to 2019. Among 89 intervention (POLD) vs. comparison communities, we fit regression models with participation in POLD as the predictor. As secondary analyses, we fit models with POLD implementation level as the predictor (implementation levels were assessed via a survey of law enforcement agencies). We controlled for relevant community and agency characteristics. Results: In the model with participation in POLD as a predictor, there was little difference in the rate of total alcohol-related crashes (rate ratio [RR] = 1.07, 95% CI: 0.85–1.34). In the model with level of implementation as a predictor, the rate of total alcohol-related crashes was comparable between communities with high implementation and those with no implementation (RR = 0.89; 95% CI: 0.71–1.10). Similar results were seen for alcohol-related crashes with nonfatal injury and property damage outcomes. Conclusions: This study found little evidence that the POLD initiative, as currently implemented, was associated with reductions in traffic crashes across communities in Minnesota. Further research could explore whether specific characteristics of POLD are particularly important and whether POLD could be combined with other strategies to reduce traffic crashes and other alcohol-related harms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)406-413
Number of pages8
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $588,123.00 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CDC/HHD, or the U.S. Government.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Research Society on Alcoholism.


  • alcohol
  • enforcement
  • overservice
  • place of last drink
  • traffic crashes

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't


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