government

Government

Elected and public officials assume a leadership role within a community and have the ability to shape and influence healthy community alcohol norms. Governments have authority to provide for alcohol control, including regulation and enforcement. Laws and ordinances are government policies and practices that provide the framework for effective and sustained changes in underage and youth binge drinking!

Making the Case: Government

Why Partner To Reduce Underage And Youth Binge Drinking?

  • Protect public health, safety and quality of life. Youth drinking contributes significantly to crime, violence, and a variety of poor social, health and education outcomes.
  • Provide leadership and shape community norms. A significant body of research highlights the role of alcohol policy and community leadership in shaping desired population based youth drinking behavior change. Research also identified 22 evidence-based alcohol policies and regulatory strategies for preventing youth access to alcohol.
  • Prevent juvenile delinquency by limiting youth access to alcohol. Fifty percent of criminal cases (assault, traffic, theft, fraud, sex crime, etc.) in the juvenile justice system involve alcohol. Private home parties are the primary source by which youth obtain alcohol.
  • Reduce costs. Underage drinking alone cost Georgia $1.7 billion in 2007. Government bore a large portion of the cost through enforcement, prosecution and incarceration. Businesses shared in the cost through lost productivity and healthcare costs.

Read the full Case Statement for Government.

Underage Drinking in Georgia
The Facts

Tragic health, social, and economic problems result from the use of alcohol by youth. Underage drinking is a causal factor in a host of serious problems, including homicide, suicide, traumatic injury, drowning, burns, violent and property crime, high risk sex, fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol poisoning, and need for treatment for alcohol abuse and dependence.

Learn more about the cost of Underage Drinking in Georgia.

Why should governments care about this problem?
  • Because they are charged to protect public health, safety and quality of life. Youth drinking contributes significantly to crime, violence, and a variety of poor social, health, education and quality of life outcomes. [Department of Justice and the Office of National Drug Control Policy]
  • To reduce costs. An estimated $3.1 million for Cobb County annually is attributable to underage drinking alone. Governments bore a large portion through enforcement, prosecution and incarceration, lost productivity and healthcare costs. [Journal of Studies on Alcohol and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget]
How can governments help reduce underage and youth binge drinking?
  • A significant body of research highlights the role of alcohol policy and elected and public leadership in shaping desired population based youth drinking behavior change. Research also identified 22 evidence-based alcohol policies and regulatory strategies for preventing youth access to alcohol. [Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation]
  • Develop laws, ordinances, policies, etc. to address commercial availability, social/public availability, and youth possession.
  • Use licensing and regulatory “best practices” to control alcohol landscape and protect public health and safety.
  • Use land use planning to control retail outlet density.
  • Assess existing laws and regulations to identify and close gaps and loopholes.
  • Identify strengths upon which effective enforcement strategies can be built.
  • Motivate enforcement and regulatory agencies to strengthen enforcement of existing laws and regulations.
Where can I find more information about alcohol regulatory best practices?
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Government CAN

  • Develop laws, ordinances, policies, etc. to address commercial availability, social/public availability, and youth possession
  • Use licensing and regulatory “best practices” to control alcohol landscape and protect public health and safety
  • Use land use planning to control retail outlet density
  • Assess existing laws and regulations to identify and close gaps and loopholes
  • Identify strengths upon which effective enforcement strategies can be built
  • Motivate enforcement and regulatory agencies to strengthen enforcement of existing laws and regulations
  • Become a partner with Cobb Alcohol Taskforce
  • Join the Cobb Alcohol Taskforce as a volunteer or friend and subscribe to monthly e-news
  • Promote Cobb Safe Neighborhoods Safe Homes Campaign

Resources