Alcohol home delivery services: A source of alcohol for underage drinkers

Linda A. Fletcher, Traci L Toomey, Alexander C. Wagenaar, Brian Short, Mark L. Willenbring

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Objective: This study describes the use of alcohol home delivery services by underage drinkers, and characteristics of grocery and liquor stores that deliver alcohol. The availability of alcohol home delivery services across the United States is also described. Method: Individuals surveyed were from 15 small- and medium-sized midwestern communities. Of all enrolled 12th graders, 83.5% (N = 4,487) responded, and of a randomly selected cohort of 18- to 20-year-olds, 93.9% (N = 1,721) responded. All grocery stores that sold alcohol and liquor stores in the corresponding communities were invited to participate in the study and 124 (92.5%) of those businesses completed surveys regarding outlet characteristics and practices. Data for the surveys were based on a nested cross-sectional design with individual respondents nested within the 15 communities. Results: Purchases of delivered alcohol were made by 10% of 12th graders and 7.3% of 18- to 20- year-olds within the past year; 20.2% of outlets delivered alcohol. Using bivariate analyses, purchasing delivered alcohol was associated with male gender, high-risk drinking (drinking five or more drinks on an occasion), more recent and more frequent drinking. Providing delivery services was more common among outlets selling keg beer and/or single servings. Multivariate analyses revealed positive associations between purchasing delivered alcohol and male gender for the 12th graders, and high risk and more recent drinking for both the 12th graders and 18- to 20-year-olds. For outlets, selling keg beer was positively associated with providing delivery services. A separate survey indicated that home delivery services appear to be available in many areas of the country. Conclusions: Home delivery is a previously unidentified source of alcohol for underage drinkers that could be curtailed with effective alcohol policies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-84
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Studies on Alcohol
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2000

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