Alcohol Sales Restrictions

Description of Strategy

Limiting the hours or days when alcohol can be sold is expected to prevent excessive alcohol consumption and related harms by regulating access to alcohol. Policies limiting days of sale typically target weekend days, in particular Sundays. Alcohol sales restriction policies may apply to bars and restaurants (outlets that sell alcohol for on premise consumption) or liquor stores (off premise outlets). In the U.S., policies restricting alcohol sales may be made at the state level and, where not prohibited by state pre-emption laws, at local levels.

Also known as...

Maintaining limits on hours and days of sales

Discussion of Effectiveness

Alcohol

The Task Force on Community Preventive Services (2010) recommends maintaining limits on days and hours of sale as evidence-based strategies for reducing excessive drinking and related harms through regulating access to alcohol. The Task Force found strong evidence of effectiveness for maintaining existing limits on days of sale. Studies evaluating the impact of removing existing limits on days of sales showed increased consumption of alcohol and motor vehicle-related harms. Likewise, the Task Force found sufficient evidence of effectiveness for maintaining existing limits on hours of sale. Research assessing the effects of increasing hours of sale by two or more hours found increased vehicle crash injuries, emergency room admission, and alcohol-related assault and injury. However, the task force found insufficient evidence for imposing new limits on days of sale and no evidence was found for imposing increased limits on hours of sale.

References

Strategy Description

The Community Guide. (2010). Preventing Excessive Alcohol Consumption: Maintaining Limits on Hours of Sale. Last updated: September 24, 2013.

The Community Guide. (2010). Preventing Excessive Alcohol Use: Maintaining Limits on Days of Sale.  Last updated: September 24, 2013.

Evidence Base

Futher Reading

Middleton, J. C., Hahn, R. A., Kuzara, J. L., Elder, R., Brewer, R., Chattopadhyay, S., … & Task Force on Community Preventive Services. (2010). Effectiveness of policies maintaining or restricting days of alcohol sales on excessive alcohol consumption and related harms. American journal of preventive medicine, 39(6), 575-589.

Task Force on Community Preventive Services. (2010). Recommendations on maintaining limits on days and hours of sale of alcoholic beverages to prevent excessive alcohol consumption and related harms. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 39(6), 605-606.