Holder, H.D. In R. Muller and H. Klingemann (eds.). From Science to Action?: 100 Years Later-- Alcohol Policies Revisited
, pgs. 1-13 (2004)At the community level, traditional prevention efforts have emphasized programs such as public media campaigns, alcoholism recovery efforts, and school education. For the most part, local prevention strategies have been program-based, not policy-based. However, alcohol policies can be implemented at a community level. Thus, a local alcohol policy is any established process, priority, or structure that purposefully alters local social, economic, or physical environments to reduce alcohol problems. Examples include making a priority of drinking and driving enforcement by the local police; using local zoning laws and land regulations to control house of sale or location and density of alcohol outlets, mandating server training for bars, pubs, and restaurants; setting a written policy for responsible alcoholic beverage service by a retail licensed establishment; or allocating enforcement resources to prevent alcohol sales to underage persons. Therefore, local policy takes many forms that relate to alcohol use and thereby to alcohol problems, not simply restricting the retail sale of alcohol. This paper explores a number of community prevention efforts across the world in terms of (a) the wide range of action, priorities, and structures that constitute local alcohol policy and (b) their effectiveness at the local level to reduce alcohol problems. The studies presented are community-wide, as opposed to targeting high-risk groups in their focus, seek to bring about community-level system change, use local news media targeted at key community leaders in the pursuit of policy change, and mobilize the entire community in the pursuit of such change.