Safer Alcohol Sales

Safer Alcohol Sales

These are policies that put cities in charge of the location and practices of alcohol retailers. Neighborhoods with high concentrations of alcohol sales are linked to more drinking and higher rates of violence and driving under the influence. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention linked 44% of all U.S. homicides with drinking. Policies that govern where, when and how alcohol may be sold in a neighborhood can reduce crime, increase safety, and decrease spending on health care and criminal justice.

CityHealth’s assessment of alcohol sales laws includes information about city-specific laws, along with the relevant county- and state-level laws that were passed by May 1, 2019.

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The state of safer alcohol sales in big US cities

Sixteen out of 40 cities received a medal for safer alcohol sales policies, including eight gold and eight silver.

Gold
Silver
Bronze

Out of the nation’s 40 largest cities

  • Measuring big cities’ alcohol outlet zoning policies

    How did we award safer alcohol sales policies?

  • City has a law that applies to all alcohol sales, addresses public health and safety, and authorizes the city to close an alcohol retailer for failing to comply with the law.

  • City has a law that applies to some alcohol sales (such as only new retailers, or only retailers selling for off-premises consumption, e.g. grocery or convenience stores), addresses public health and safety, and authorizes the city to close an alcohol retailer for failing to comply with the law.