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Home > Effectiveness Bank Bulletin. [Restricting hours/days of alcohol sales]

[Drug and Alcohol Findings] (2012) Effectiveness Bank Bulletin. [Restricting hours/days of alcohol sales]. Drug and Alcohol Findings. Drug and Alcohol Findings, 16 Feb

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URL: http://findings.org.uk/docs/bulletins/Bull_16_02_1...

Effectiveness of policies restricting hours of alcohol sales in preventing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.
Hahn R.A., Kuzara J.L., Elder R. et al. American Journal of Preventive Medicine: 2010, 39(6), p. 590–604.

UK research is inconclusive, but international research from developed nations supports the belief that increasing on-licence opening hours leads to more drinking and more alcohol-related harm.

Summary International bodies have recommended controlling hours and/or days when alcohol sales are permitted as way of reducing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms. Such measures are thought to work by altering the availability of alcohol, leading consumers to change their purchasing habits including how much they buy and when and where. Such changes may then affect drinking patterns or overall levels, resulting in changes in alcohol-related problems. Changes in drinking may not be the only way hours of sale affect alcohol-related health. For example, some changes may lead to greater concentrations of drinkers in pubs and bars, increasing the risk of alcohol-related aggression, or divert drinkers to less restricted areas with consequent displacement of drinking and related harm, and perhaps extra harm due to more driving and more drink-driving.


Effectiveness of policies maintaining or restricting days of alcohol sales on excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.
Middleton J.C., Hahn R.A., Kuzara J.L. et al. American Journal of Preventive Medicine: 2010, 39(6), p. 575–589.

International research from developed nations offers some support for the belief that allowing or disallowing Saturday or Sunday alcohol sales and service affects drinking and alcohol-related harm.

Summary International bodies have recommended controlling hours and/or days when alcohol sales are permitted as way of reducing excessive alcohol consumption and related harms. Such measures are thought to work by altering the availability of alcohol, leading consumers to change their purchasing habits including how much they buy and when and where. In turn these changes may affect drinking patterns or overall levels, resulting in changes in alcohol-related problems. Changes in drinking may not be the only way days of sale affect alcohol-related health. For example, more days of drinking offer more days when concentrations of drinkers in pubs and bars raise the risk of alcohol-related aggression. Changes in days and/or hours may also divert drinkers to less restricted areas with consequent displacement of drinking and related harm, and perhaps extra harm due to more driving and more drink-driving.

A companion review has assessed the effects of changing hours of sale, concluding that at two hours or above, increases in on-licence opening hours lead to increased consumption and related harms. The question addressed by the featured review was how changes in the days of the week during which regulations allow alcohol to be bought and served affect excessive alcohol consumption and related harms.

Results of reviewed studies had to be published in English and reflect non-transient changes in days (eg, not for a special one-off event) in high-income economies when these were the sole intervention affecting drinking and related harm rather than part of a combined programme. Trends in drinking and related harm had to be benchmarked against a comparison area not subject to changes in days or against the same area before the changes.


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