Travel Choices in Alcohol-Related Situations in Virginia

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Using survey data from 3004 respondents aged 21 and older in Northern Virginia, Richmond, and the Tidewater area, this paper identifies factors associated with respondents’ travel choices in alcohol-related situations: (1) the last time the respondent consumed alcohol, (2) when avoiding driving after drinking, and (3) when avoiding riding with a driver who had been drinking. Travel options included using various transportation modes and no travel (spending the night). Multinomial logit models (with and without random parameters) were developed to identify factors associated with each of the three alcohol-related cases. Heterogeneous effects were present in the first two models but not the third. For (1), significant factors included age, income, level of education, occupation, household characteristics, gender, comfort with credit cards tied to applications, location where alcohol was last consumed outside the home (e.g., bar, house of friend, restaurant), and place of residence. For (2), significant factors included age, gender, income, full time employment, living alone, taking multiple modes of transportation in a single trip during a typical week, region of residence, consumption of alcohol at a bar/tavern/club, consumption of alcohol at the home of friends/acquaintances, comfort with credit cards tied to applications, and use of an app for hotel reservations and/or air transportation arrangements. Significant factors for (3) were similar to those for (2). Based on the data (rather than a model), for the subset of those last consuming alcohol in a bar, more people reported using TNCs than driving. It is possible that TNCs draw from other sober driver alternatives by offering greater independence for the traveler and less burden on designated drivers or friends/family.


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