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Addressing Violence and Disorder Around Alcohol Outlets

NCJ Number
Sam Bieler; John Roman, Ph.D.
Date Published
January 2013
15 pages
This report summarizes research results on the effectiveness of interventions targeting five key factors that contribute to violence and disorder around alcohol outlets.
In response to violence and disorder occurring in and around alcohol outlets, interventions have been developed that target five key factors affecting violence and disorder levels. These five factors are the availability of alcohol, the time of day at which drinking takes place, the protective or risk-creating physical factors of the area, the social and legal fabric of the neighborhood, and the presence of motivated offenders. This report summarizes research findings on the effectiveness of interventions targeting these five factors. Highlights of the findings include the following: since research has shown a relationship between the density of alcohol establishments and increased levels of violence and disorder, effective use of licensing authority can give local governments better control over activities of drinking establishments, thereby reducing violence and disorder levels; and changing closing times has been found to have significant impacts on violence in bar districts. Research has also shown that liquor licensing laws, in conjunction with increased law enforcement, can be used to encourage code and best practice management compliance from owners of drinking establishments. Other successful interventions include changing the design of the venue and the activities offered at the establishment, changing the outside appearance of the structure, and improving the training of staff members in non-violent conflict resolution. The use of public-private partnerships has been shown to be effective at decreasing neighborhood resistance to implementing successful interventions aimed at reducing violence and disorder levels in and around alcohol establishments, as has the use of policies aimed at targeting problem drinkers. Recommendations for effective implementation of these strategies are discussed. References