Addressing Alcohol-Related Harms

Law & policy strategies to improve community health

Excessive alcohol use is an often-overlooked public health problem. Alcohol consumption is associated with increased risk of disease and increased health care costs for society. Public health advocates can use several evidence-based strategies to reduce excessive alcohol consumption.

Three primary regulatory strategies are alcohol taxes, commercial host liability, and reduced alcohol outlet density. Alcohol taxes reduce consumption through price increases, resulting in fewer motor vehicle crashes and lower rates of crime and violence. Commercial host liability laws hold retailers legally responsible for injuries or harms caused by illegally serving intoxicated or underage customers. Reductions in alcohol outlet density decrease the availability of alcohol and lessen opportunities for drinkers to interact with one another, which reduces excessive alcohol consumption and related harms, including violence and public nuisance issues. To learn more about these and other approaches, explore our alcohol harm reduction resources below.

Preventing Alcohol-Related Harms
Preventing Alcohol-Related Harms
FAQs, infographics, and a glossary offer facts and strategies for public health professionals and stakeholders who want to reduce alcohol consumption and improve public health.
Local Alcohol Density
Regulating Alcohol Outlet Density
This legal memo provides a 50-state update on the status of state laws that preempt local regulation of alcohol outlet density.
Healthy Retail
Implementing Healthy Retail
These resources present innovative strategies in alcohol prevention, tobacco control, and nutrition. What could a healthy retail environment look like in your community?
Alcohol Sales - day and time
Regulating Days or Hours of Alcohol Sales
This legal memo identifies states with policies that specifically authorize localities to regulate the days or hours of alcohol sales.