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Alcohol and Crime: Beyond Density

NCJ Number
Security Journal Volume: 21 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2008 Pages: 229-245
William Lugo
Date Published
October 2008
17 pages
Utilizing a mid-size town with a high density of liquor licenses, this study tested the hypothesis that the more alcohol outlets there are, the more the problems (i.e., crime) there will be.
The findings challenge prior beliefs and research that an increase in bar density inevitably leads to an increase in crime rates. The study further indicates that it is not the quantity of bars that leads to higher crime rates, but rather the quality of them. In other words, bars that possess irresponsible serving practices that promote over consumption, could be contributing to excessive crime in the area. Across the United States, cities have begun limiting the number of liquor licenses they issue. Behind such legislation is a belief that the more alcohol outlets there are, the more the problems there will be. However, such a hypothesis has never been rigorously tested. This study examined a mid-size town with an extremely high density of liquor licenses. It looked at crime data over a 1-year period, and in three different areas. Figures, tables, and references