Banning sale of alcohol at night sharply reduces cases of violent crimes — study

Reducing alcohol sales hours significantly helps to fight high crime rate
Reducing alcohol sales hours significantly helps to fight high crime rate

Research on the statutory restriction of hours of alcohol sales in certain areas of Baltimore, Maryland, showed that reducing hours decreased crime by as much as 51%.

No comparable studies have yet been released in Ukraine, though the vast majority of the country remains under mandatory nightly curfew.

Changing the hours when alcohol is sold in one Baltimore neighborhood that includes 26 bars/taverns saw violent crime slashed annually, a new Boston School of Public Health and Alcohol Research Group study showed.

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The study looked at the effect of reducing the hours of nighttime alcohol sales on crime rates in low-income neighborhoods.

Reducing nighttime operations by seven hours at bars and taverns in Baltimore resulted in a 51% drop in violent crime in the first month, and 23 thereafter.

The study was published in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.

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The crime rate reduction turned out to be even more significant than expected, said lead author of the study, Dr. Erica Rosen. The study was conducted as part of an impact assessment of Maryland Senate Bill 571, which reduced the alcohol sale hours in 2020.

The researchers used publicly available data to measure the number of violent crimes around bars and taverns in Baltimore before and after the new law took effect. Reducing the time of sale of alcohol can be an effective way to prevent crime, study results confirmed.

This policy may be especially important during periods of increased alcohol consumption, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic, study co-author, Dr. David Jernigan, pointed out.

More research must be conducted to test the effectiveness of this policy in other cities and over longer periods of time, he said.

The study generally highlights the importance of policies aimed at reducing alcohol availability to prevent violence and maintain public safety.

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