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Public Intoxication: The Arrest Records and Alcohol Levels of Emergency Service Patients

Denise Thum, Henry Wechsler and Harold W. Demone, Jr.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior
Vol. 12, No. 3 (Sep., 1971), pp. 259-264
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2948563
Page Count: 6
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Public Intoxication: The Arrest Records and Alcohol Levels of Emergency Service Patients
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Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to examine the relationship between two indicators of public behavior related to alcohol use: (1) alcohol-related arrests, and (2) alcohol level at the time of admission to a general hospital emergency service. Breathalyzer readings were obtained from 607 males at the time of hospital admission, and comparisons were made of the arrest rates among those admitted with negative Breathalyzer readings (.00% alcohol), low positive readings (.01-.04%), and higher positive readings (.05% and over). It was found that the proportion who had been arrested for public drunkenness during the five-year period prior to emergency service admission was approximately four times greater among men admitted with Breathalyzer readings of .05% or above than among those admitted with negative or very low alcohol levels. These results were maintained when controls were introduced for age, social class, and reason for admission (injury or non-injury).

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