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Alcohol Availability, Distribution Policies, and Their Relationship To Crime and Alcohol-Related Injury

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2006, $105,989)

The proposed research investigates the relationship between alcohol availability and distribution policies and alcohol-related injury, homicide, assault, domestic violence, and disorder. The study will address the following questions: (1) Do increased availability and liberal distribution policies increase the incidence of homicide, domestic violence, disorderly conduct, and alcohol-related deaths? (2) Do certain types of alcohol-selling establishments have a relationship with these adverse outcomes? (3) Are there other characteristics of the environment (both physical and socio-economic) that may be attracting crime around alcohol-selling establishments? (4) Are there environmental characteristics that act as buffers against crime in areas with alcohol outlets? (5) Are certain types of homicide (i.e., motivations behind homicide incidents) more likely in areas with crime-generating institutions? and (6) How do demographic characteristics of the population factor into the relationship between alcohol availability and these outcomes?

This study will inform the field of community violence prevention and public health. Findings of a relationship between alcohol availability, violence, and injury have implications for crime prevention models by offering insights into the development of community strategies targeted to both people and places.

Building on social disorganization and routine activities theories, the research team will develop and test a comprehensive theoretical model of alcohol availability and crime. The model captures a wide range of contextual variation in neighborhood places and processes that has not been studied when examining alcohol outlets. To test the theoretical model, the researchers will develop a geographic information system (GIS) containing neighborhood crime and health indicators and demographic and location characteristics for Washington, D.C. Analyses will be conducted at both the census tract and block-group level. The characteristics of alcohol distribution policies to be examined include: (1) license type (on-premise sales versus off-premise sales), (2) permission for single-container sales, and (3) hours of operation.


Date Created: September 13, 2006