POLD PUblication Final

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					        San Bernardino County
  Place of Last Drink Survey

   Investigating the Source of
Alcohol for DUI-related Incidents

Special                Problematic Youth and
                        Adult Drinking: House
Focus                Parties vs. Bars and Clubs

Selected Findings from the POLD Survey:   July 2008 - June 2009
                                       San Bernardino County POLD Survey
What is the POLD Survey?                                                 How is the POLD Survey Used?
The Place of Last Drink (POLD) Survey is a scientifically                At great hazard to themselves and others, thousands of
tested data collection process designed to identify fac-                 people drive the roads of San Bernardino County each
tors associated with drinking and driving. It was devel-                 year while under the influence of alcohol. The conse-
oped in 1996 by San Diego County’s Responsible Hospi-                    quences can be tragic, including both property damage
tality Coalition in conjunction with researchers from Cali-              and the loss of life. In order to reduce the prevalence of
fornia State University, San Diego. The source data are                  such incidents, prevention efforts must be focused on
adults and minors, 18 years of age and older, who have                   the environments where the alcohol is consumed, i.e.
been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol                 the place of last drink. The POLD survey provides detailed
(DUI) or another impaired driving offense.                               information about these settings and the circumstances
                                                                         that led to intoxication. It also provides data about the
The purpose of the survey is to gather information that                  types and quantities of alcohol and/or other drugs that
will help community partnerships working to prevent                      might have been used as well as demographics describ-
DUI-related incidents. Such partnerships may include                     ing those who are cited for DUI. Such information can
health service agencies, parents, representatives from                   help prevention efforts by:
education, law enforcement and other public officials.
                                                                             •   Identifying high risk retailers (e.g. bars, clubs
Since its inception, the survey has been successfully used                       liquor stores)
to help shape prevention policies of governmental agen-                      •   Developing policies to reduce sales to underage
cies. This includes The Ventura County Department of                             youth and over service of d adults
Behavioral Health, which adopted the survey in 2001. In                      •   Helping to focus Law Enforcement resources
2008, it was adapted for use in San Bernardino County                        •   Aiding licensed DUI intervention programs in
by the Institute for Public Strategies.                                          delivering more effective services

                         POLD Survey Results: Adults vs. Underage Drinkers
POLD survey results show significant differences be-
tween locations where adults and youth had their last                              Chart 1: Place of Last Drink; Adults
drink1 before being arrested. For example, the vast ma-                                   Compared to Minors
jority of underage drinkers (73%) reported a private
residence as their place of last drink, presumably be-                                       73%
cause there was less likelihood of having their identifica-                                                      Adult Drinkers
tion checked. On the other hand, adults favored retail                                                           Underage
outlets, with almost half (45%) of them reporting their                                                          Drinkers
last drink at a bar or club. (See Chart 1 at right.) The
most frequently mentioned other location for adults                        50%
was in a vehicle.                                                                                              45%
Quantities of alcohol consumed were high for both
groups, with about 3 out of 4 (71% of adults; 77.6% of
minors) reporting binge drinking2 on the day of their
arrest. However, underage drinkers were more likely to                                                               17%
be in an auto crash after drinking. Twenty two percent
of minors were involved in this kind of incident com-
pared to 15.4% of adults.
1. A drink is defined as a 12 oz serving of beer, a 1.5 oz shot of 80-
   proof liquor, or a 5 oz glass of wine.                                             At a Private         At a Bar or Cllub
2. Binge drinking is defined as having 5 or more drinks in about two
   hours for males and 4 or more drinks for females.
                   POLD Survey Results: Underage Drinking at House Parties
Of all the underage drinkers who said their place of last
drink was a private residence, 51% indicated it was at a                      Chart 2: Cities with the Most Place of Last Drink
party. No definition of a “party” was included in the sur-                    Mentions — Underage Drinking at House Parties
vey, but over half (55%) of the respondents indicated
that there were 10 or more people present. National                            Fontana
research indicates that heavy drinking takes place in such                     Rancho
venues, as youth often encourage their peers to con-                         Rancho C
sume excessive amounts of alcohol.3 This is consistent
with results of the POLD survey in San Bernardino, as
81% of minors whose place of last drink was a house
party reported binge drinking on the day of their arrest.
Cities in which underage drinkers most often reported                         Barstow
                                                                                                             Percentage of
their place of last drink as a house party are listed in                                                     POLD Mentions in
                                                                                 Chino                       SB County
Chart 2 at right. Fontana and Rancho Cucamonga lead
the list with the most mentions. Ontario is also high, but                                                   Percentage of SB
                                                                                Colton                       County Population
it has fewer mentions than would be expected given the
size of its population. On the other hand, the cities of                      Hesperia
Redlands, Barstow and Yucca Valley have substantially
more house-party mentions than their populations                                  San
                                                                                 San B
would seem to warrant. (See Chart 2.)
                                                                           Yucca Valley
3. Wagenaar, A., Finnegan, J., Wolfson, M., Anstine, P., Williams, C., &
   Perry, C. (1993). “Where and how adolescents obtain alcoholic                           0%   3%    6%      9%      12%       15%
   beverages.” Public Health Reports, 106, 459–464.

                           POLD Survey Results: Drinking at Bars and Clubs
Almost 80% of all those who reported their place of last
drink as a bar or club were drinking at an establishment                        Chart 3: Cities with Most Place of Last Drink
within San Bernardino County. Rancho Cucamonga and                              Mentions — Adult Drinking at Bars and Clubs
the City of San Bernardino, two of the county’s largest                       Rancho
centers of population, were the cities most often men-                        Rancho
tioned by adults as well as minors, even though the lat-                          San
ter group reported having their last drink at such loca-                    Bernardino
tions far less often.                                                          Barstow

Several other cities are noteworthy with regard to adult                      Redlands                      Percentage of
drinking at bars and clubs. These include Barstow, Twen-                                                    POLD Mentions in
tynine Palms, Colton, Redlands and Upland, all of which                         Upland                      SB County
had higher rates of mentions on the POLD Survey than                                                        Percentage of SB
their respective populations. (See Chart 3 at right.)                                                       County Population
As noted above, there were very few underage drinkers
who reported having their last drink at a bar or club. For                     Fontana
those who did, the four most common communities
mentioned were Rancho Cucamonga, San Bernardino,                             Victorville
Riverside and Twentynine Palms. Also noteworthy is that
                                                                               Palm s
underage youth reported having their last drink at a bar                       Palms
or club in Rancho Cucamonga more than twice as often
                                                                                           0%   3%    6%      9%      12%       15%
as any other city.
                                POLD Survey Data Collection Process
Methodology                                                      Limitations of the Data
All POLD survey data is collected from those who have            As already noted, several measures are in place to en-
been arrested and convicted of a DUI-related offense in          sure the quality of POLD survey data. Even so, self-report
San Bernardino County. Such offenders, as a routine part         measures like this have two major limitations:
of the adjudication process, are required to participate
in one of the county’s licensed DUI intervention pro-            First, participants may want to appear in a certain way
grams. These include a series of educational classes de-         to the interviewer and, as a result, may provide less ac-
signed to prevent the recurrence of problem behavior.            curate information. Depending on the individual, this
                                                                 may include underestimating or even exaggerating how
During the course of their program, each individual is           much alcohol they consumed. However, experience has
offered the opportunity to participate in the POLD sur-          shown that once participants develop relationships with
vey. There is no requirement to complete the survey,             their counselors, they are more willing to be honest.
but the vast majority agree to participate on a voluntary
basis. Since a large portion of the county’s population is       A second limitation of self-report is that it is based on
Hispanic, survey instruments are made available in both          the respondent’s memory, which may be unreliable over
English and Spanish .                                            time. However, with a greater number of respondents,
                                                                 such biases typically average out in the long run. In addi-
To increase the quality of data , personal interviews,           tion, the use of statistical methods that exclude rare or
rather than self-administered surveys, are conducted. In         unusual responses helps provide more reliable findings.
addition, data is not collected until each participant has
had a chance to establish a positive relationship with his       Finally, it should be noted that survey results vary from
or her counselor, usually at the midpoint of the pro-            one time period to another. The findings in this report
gram. Scoring and data analysis are done by an inde-             are based on 2,699 POLD surveys collected during a one
pendent research firm.                                           year time frame from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.

                                  Conclusions and Recommendations
Since the POLD survey collects data only from those who          as a deterrent as long as they are effectively enforced.
have been driving while intoxicated, it provides valuable
information into the conditions surrounding problematic          Results of the survey also suggest the need for interven-
drinking. Such information can help shape prevention             tion with regard to the over service of alcohol at bars and
policies for reducing alcohol access and availability to         clubs. While this would apply mostly to adults, it should
high-risk groups.                                                also be noted that one in five underage drinkers reported
                                                                 consuming their last drink at this kind of location. Train-
For example, the data show that minors are more likely           ing for those who sell or serve alcohol is one way to meet
to consume alcohol in a private residence, and about half        this need. However, research indicates that to be effec-
of the time the location is reported as a “house party”          tive, such training would need to be mandatory and in-
with at least 10 people present. At such venues excessive        clude an enforcement component.
drinking seems to be the norm, with binge drinking being
reported more that three quarters of the time.                   Finally, POLD data show that problematic drinking occurs
                                                                 in some cities more than others. Rural areas, for exam-
These findings suggest that measures designed to reduce          ple, seem to have a disproportionate amount of DUI-
the prevalence of house parties are warranted. Such              related incidents. This may be due to limited law en-
measures could include local social host ordinances with         forcement resources. Other factors, such as the presence
civil and/or criminal penalties for those who allow minors       of a college or an entertainment district in a community
to drink at a house party. According to data collected in        may tend increase problems. In such cases, the policies
San Diego and Ventura Counties, such ordinances can act          noted above would seem to be needed all the more.

                                     This report was developed by The ARCHS Institute, a program of The
                                       Institute for Public Strategies, 1881 Commercenter East, Suite 138,
                                       San Bernardino CA 92408; (909) 266-1660; Fax: (909) 266-1634.

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