Correlates and motives of pre-drinking with intoxication and harm around licensed venues in two cities

Peter Miller, Nic Droste, Florentine de Groot, Darren Palmer, Jennifer Tindall, Lucy Busija, Shannon Hyder, Karen Gilham, John Wiggers

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27 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and Aims: The study investigates the prevalence of pre-drinking culture in the night-time economy (NTE) and its impact upon intoxication and alcohol-related harm and violence experienced by patrons. Design and Methods: Cross-sectional surveys were conducted in and around licensed venues in Newcastle (NSW) and Geelong (Victoria) during peak trading hours (typically 9pm-1am). Participants completed a five minute structured interview which targeted: demographics, past and planned movements on the survey night, safety/experience of harm, and patron intoxication. 3949 people agreed to be interviewed, a response rate of 90.7%. Around half (54.9%) of interviewees were male and mean age was 24.4 years (SD=5.8). Results: 66.8% of participants reported pre-drinking prior to attending licensed venues. On a 1-10 scale measuring self-rated intoxication, pre-drinkers scored significantly higher compared to non pre-drinkers (P<0.001). Compared to non-pre-drinkers, patrons who had consumed 6-10 standard pre-drinks were 1.5 times more likely to be involved in a violent incident in the past 12 months (OR=1.50, 95%CI 1.03-2.19, P=0.037) increasing to 1.8 times more likely for patrons who had 11-15 drinks (OR=1.80, 95%CI 1.04-3.11 P=.036). Pre-drinking was also associated with both self-rated and observer-rated intoxication, as well as increased probability of illicit drug use. Amongst pre-drinkers, price was the most commonly reported motive for pre-drinking (51.8%). Discussion and Conclusions: 'Pre-drinking' was normal behaviour in the current sample and contributes significantly to the burden of harm and intoxication in the NTE. Price disparity between packaged vs. venue liquor is a key motivator for pre-drinking. [Miller P, Droste N, de Groot F, Palmer D, Tindall J, Busija L, Hyder S, Gilham K, Wiggers J. Correlates and motives of pre-drinking with intoxication and harm around licensed venues in two cities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Aggression
  • Alcohol drinking
  • Alcoholic beverage
  • Alcoholic intoxication
  • Violence

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