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Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws Field-Initiated Research and Evaluation (FIRE) Program, Identifying Effective Environmental Strategies: Final Technical Report

NCJ Number
Date Published
September 2016
38 pages
This report presents the findings and methodology of an evaluation of block-grant programs established under the Federal Enforcing Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) program, which focused on strengthening community collaboration between agencies to leverage shared resources and indirectly limit underage drinking and associated health consequences.
The EUDL program emphasized environmental strategies for countering underage drinking. These strategies focus on changing the context associated with underage drinking behavior rather than changing the behaviors of individual drinkers. The three principles of such an approach are media efforts; community-level collaboration in identifying, developing, and implementing environmental strategies; and an emphasis on limiting access to alcoholic beverages. Some common intervention activities that apply these principles are outlined in this report. The evaluation of EUDL programs consistently found that areas with more active coalitions and those with multiple strategies had more alcohol-related campus incidents. Although this was not hypothesized by the evaluation, the evaluators speculate that areas with more active coalitions may have raised awareness and increased patrols, which resulted in higher incident reporting; however, campus-related alcohol incidents were significantly lower in areas where educational activities were the focus of grantees' efforts, even when controlling for demographics. Traffic fatalities that involved minors under the influence of alcohol were significantly lower for those grantees that built coalitions with law enforcement agencies. Two data sources were used in the analysis: 1) the Campus Safety and Security Survey, which provides information from higher education institutions on liquor law violations on their campuses and in surrounding areas, and 2) the Fatality Analysis Reporting System, which provides data on automobile crashes, including whether the crash was alcohol-related and vehicle and driver characteristics. 14 tables, 14 references, and appended supplementary information on performance measures and grantee programs

Date Published: September 1, 2016