POLICY STUDIES

Retail Availability of Alcohol - Hours and Days of Sale

Regulations on outlet density are often supplemented by restrictions on the hours and days permitted for alcohol sales. Examples of these restrictions include Sunday "blue laws" which originally precluded alcohol sales for religious reasons and regulations on hours of sale common to all states. The impacts of these restrictions on use and problems have been much debated, with advocates claiming policy effects and opponents arguing that, at best, these restrictions serve to redistribute use and problems to other days and times. PRC researchers have related later trading hours to increased homicides in a study of one change in Brazil1. But few other studies have been executed by PRC researchers or anyone else in the US. The particular problem in the US has been that suitable natural experiments by which to test these effects have rarely occurred. Changes in hours and days of sale typically take place as part of a bundle of other privatization steps (see above) making it very difficult to disentangle policy effects.

Reference cited:
  1. Duailibi, S.; Ponicki, W.; Grube, J.W.; Pinsky, I.; Laranjeira, R.; & Raw, M. The effect of restricting opening hours on alcohol-related violence. American Journal of Public Health, 97:2276-2280, 2007. PMID: 17971559