Date of Award

4-27-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ike Okosun - Chair

Second Advisor

Dr. Michael Eriksen

Abstract

Despite the minimum legal drinking age of 21, many underage persons regularly purchase alcohol from licensed alcohol establishments. The purpose of this study was to determine the establishment, geographic, and community economic and demographic characteristics that are associated with illegal sales of alcohol to underage persons in Georgia. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was used to determine factors that were associated with illegal sales of alcohol to underage persons of Georgia. Statistical adjustments were made for ownership type (e.g., corporate owned), region (e.g., southeast Georgia, metro-Atlanta), rural vs. urban area, and many community economic and demographic variables (e.g., unemployment rate, minority populations). Overall, underage subjects attempted to purchase alcohol in 2949 off-premise establishments from July of 2007 to June of 2008. Compared to corporate-owned establishments, institutions not owned by corporations were associated with increased odds of alcohol sale to underage persons, adjusting for other independent variables. Establishments that are located in counties with a high density of alcohol outlets were much more likely to sell alcohol to underage persons. To reduce underage drinking in Georgia, beverage law enforcement should increase monitoring of non-corporate owned establishments and areas with a high density of alcohol outlets. Overall, responsible beverage service training of both corporate and non-corporate employees may help in reducing alcohol sales to underage persons in Georgia.

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