McMillan, G. P.
; Hanson, T. E.; and Lapham, S. C. Accident; analysis and prevention
, vol. 39, pgs. 252-7 (2007)On July 1, 1995 the state of New Mexico lifted its ban on Sunday packaged alcohol sales. Legislation lifting the ban included a local option allowing individual communities within the state to hold an election to reinstitute the ban on Sunday packaged alcohol sales. Previous research has shown a clear statewide increase in alcohol-related crash and crash fatality rates after the ban was lifted. The goal of this study is to measure county-level variability in changes in alcohol-related crash rates while adjusting for county socio-demographic characteristics, spatial patterns in crash rates and temporal trends in alcohol-related crash rates. Bayesian hierarchical binomial regression models were fit to the observed quarterly crash counts for all counties between July 1, 1990 and June 30, 2000. Results show marked variability in the impact of legalized Sunday packaged alcohol sales on alcohol-related crash rates. Relative risks of an alcohol-related crash for the post-repeal versus pre-repeal period vary across counties from 1.04 to 1.90. Counties with older population suffered a greater negative impact of legalized Sunday packaged alcohol sales. Counties with communities that quickly passed the local option to re-ban packaged sales on Sundays were able to mitigate most of the deleterious impact of increased alcohol availability that was observed across the state.