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J Stud Alcohol Drugs. 2008 Mar;69(2):323-31.

Breath alcohol concentrations of college students in field settings: seasonal, temporal, and contextual patterns.

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Center for Alcohol and Drug Studies and Services, 6386 Alvarado Court, Suite 224, San Diego, California 92182, USA.



Seasonality in alcohol consumption has implications for epidemiology and prevention. In this research we examined seasonal, temporal, and contextual variation in drinking among college students at a large West Coast university.


We used a field survey (across a 3-year period) to collect anonymous breath alcohol concentrations from students sampled randomly as they walked on and near the campus on weekend nights.


After controlling for student demographics, we found that the breath alcohol concentration samples we collected during the spring and winter were significantly higher than those collected during the fall. Subsequent analyses indicated that this difference could be attributed to fewer students drinking in the fall rather than to students consuming smaller quantities of alcohol.


Seasonal trends in college student drinking mirror seasonal trends demonstrated in the general population. This research may help guide future intervention or prevention efforts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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