Happy Hour Restrictions

Description of Strategy

Drink promotions such as happy hours may contribute to excessive and rapid consumption of alcohol. These practices include price reduction on certain drinks for a specific time period and theme nights where certain people receive free drinks. Happy hour restrictions aim to reduce alcohol availability through restriction of these promotional activities (WyPTAC, 2009).

Currently Wyoming does not have a state law regulating happy hours, however, local licensing authorities may choose to enact restrictions (Johnson, 2008).

Also known as...

Drink special restrictions

Discussion of Effectiveness

Alcohol

The evidence on the effectiveness of happy hour restrictions is varied. One study conducted in the Netherlands found higher levels of adolescent drinking when happy hour discounts were available (van Hoof, van Noordenburg, & Jong, 2008). A systematic review (University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, 2014) found restricting drink specials decreased excessive alcohol consumption, reduced planned and actual alcohol consumption. The review also found that alcohol consumption and related problems decrease, especially among young adults when alcohol prices increase. Another study conducted at colleges in the United States did not find significant differences in levels of underage drinking when happy hours were restricted (Wechsler, Lee, Nelson, & Kuo, 2002). An early observational study did not find a significant difference in alcohol consumption before the happy hour ban compared to after the implementation of the happy hour ban (Smart & Adlaf, 1986).