Researchers hired professional actors to feign intoxication while attempting to purchase alcohol at 231 Midwestern bars and restaurants (on-premise sites). The researchers also conducted a telephone survey of the owners and/or managers of each establishment to determine how their policies/practices were associated with the likelihood that the bars and restaurants would sell alcohol to intoxicated patrons.
Pseudo-intoxicated customers were able to purchase alcohol in 65 percent of their attempts. Both Lenk and Cannon said that this falls within the range found in previous studies, between 58 and 89 percent of the time.
Certain types of establishments were either more or less likely to sell to the actors. First, those establishments with full liquor licenses as opposed to only beer- or wine-sales licenses were less likely to sell to intoxicated patrons. "Nonetheless, their sales rates were still high, 59 percent, and this should not be ignored," said Lenk. "Bars and restaurants that just sell beer and/or wine, but not hard liquor, may not regularly encounter obviously intoxicated patrons, and so may not be as aware of the need to refuse to serve this type of patron."
"It might be worthwhile for alcoholic beverage-control agencies to focus educational efforts on establishments without full-liquor licenses," added Cannon. "As indicated by the authors, their staff training may be less rigorous when it comes to selling to the obviously intoxicated."
Second, establishments with managers who had at le