April 2003

Grant Results


The National Crime Prevention Council convened Alcohol Policy XII, "Alcohol and Crime: Research and Practice for Prevention," which took place June 11–14, 2000 in Washington.

The conference was the 12th in a series of national meetings dedicated to discussing innovative policy approaches and research for preventing alcohol-related problems.

Key Results

  • Almost 500 people attended the event, the largest audience ever to attend this conference series.
  • The conference offered 76 workshops specifically designed to engage conference participants from diverse public health and criminal justice backgrounds.
  • Each workshop session concluded with a discussion of "Key Learnings and Recommendations." (See Appendix 2 for the learnings and recommendations.)

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $196,407 in partial support of the conference from March 2000 to August 2000.

RWJF co-sponsored the previous conference, "Common Goals, Common Challenges: Creating Alcohol-Safe Communities through Alcohol Policies," held in Chicago in May 1988 (ID# 032190).

 See Grant Detail & Contact Information
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Communication and information sharing have been problematic in this field, and the Alcohol Policy Conference series, which was initiated in 1981, provides one of the few opportunities for researchers, practitioners and prevention advocates to come together to discuss alcohol abuse issues and exchange strategies and interventions for dealing with them. The previous conference, "Common Goals, Common Challenges: Creating Alcohol-Safe Communities Through Alcohol Policies," was co-sponsored by RWJF (ID# 032190) and convened by the American Medical Association in May 1998 in Chicago.

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In addition to covering part of the cost of organizing and promoting the conference, and publishing and disseminating conference papers and abstracts, RWJF funds allowed youth, college students and community leaders involved with alcohol-related RWJF projects to attend the conference. Representatives from a number of RWJF sites participated as presenters and facilitators.

The National Crime Prevention Council, a Washington organization whose mission is to forge a nationwide commitment to prevent crime and build safer, more caring communities, convened Alcohol Policy XII. Because the conference focused on the links between alcohol and crime, substantial efforts were made to expand the participation of the criminal justice community and the Planning Committee for the conference, for the first time, included representatives from law enforcement and criminal justice. (For a list of Planning Committee members, see Appendix 1.)

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  • Almost 500 people attended the event, the largest audience ever to attend this conference series.
    • Some 22 percent of the participants came from the fields of law enforcement or criminal justice and three-quarters of all participants indicated they were attending an Alcohol Policy Conference for the first time.
    • Some 6 percent of the participants were young people or from youth service groups.
  • The conference offered 76 workshops specifically designed to engage conference participants from diverse public health and criminal justice backgrounds.
  • Each workshop session concluded with a discussion of "Key Learnings and Recommendations." (See Appendix 2.)
  • The conference also included plenary sessions, roundtable discussions and poster sessions.
  • Prior to the conference, five papers were commissioned from leading experts in the field of alcohol policy and disseminated to each conference participant. These papers were then submitted to academic journals.
  • Lists of conference attendees and presenters were distributed to facilitate networking.

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Twelfth National Alcohol Policy Conference


National Crime Prevention Council (Washington,  DC)

  • Amount: $ 196,407
    Dates: March 2000 to August 2000
    ID#:  038022


Colleen K. Minson
(202) 261-4129

Web Site


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Appendix 1

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

Twelfth Alcohol Policy Conference Planning Committee

Marilyn Aguirre-Molina, Ph.D.
Senior Fellow
Center for Health and Social Policy
Los Angeles, Calif.

Sharron Ayers
Project Director
Louisiana Alliance to Prevent Underage Drinking
Baton Rouge, La.

Les Becker, Ph.D., N.R.E.M.T.
Deputy Director, Safety and Health Policy Program
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Landover, Md.

Rev. Jesse Brown
Bala Cynwyd, Pa.

Bob Brown
Senior Adviser
Bureau of Justice Assistance
Washington, D.C.

Jennifer Burgess
National Youth Network
Anchorage, Alaska

The Honorable Cassandra Burns
Commonwealth Attorney
City of Petersburg, Va.

Sgt. Ken Clark
Virginia State Police
Chesapeake, Va.

Lorraine Collins, Ph.D.
Research Institute on Addictions
Buffalo, N.Y.

Jim Copple
Executive Deputy Director
National Crime Prevention Council
Washington, D.C.

Johnnetta Davis
Director, Special Field Services
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Rockville, Md.

William DeJong, Ph.D.
Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention
Newton, Mass.

Bob Denniston
Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
Rockville, Md.

Jered Freer
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Rockville, Md.

Norman Geisbrecht
Center for Addiction and Mental Health
Addiction Research Foundation
Toronto, Ont.

Bobby Heard
Director of Programs
Mothers Against Drunk Driving
Irving, Texas

Col. Robert Hickes
Deputy Commissioner Headquarters
Harrisburg, Pa.

Kim Hinton
Conference Meeting Planner
National Crime Prevention Council
Washington, D.C.

Joan Hollendonner
Program Officer
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
Princeton, N.J.

Erin Hull
Deputy Director
Street Law
Washington, D.C.

David Jernigan
Associate Director
Marin Institute
San Rafael, Calif.

Chief Tom King
State College Police Department
State College, Pa.

Sgt. Chris Martin
Sacramento Sheriff's Department
Sacramento, Calif.

Colleen Minson
Associate Deputy Director
National Crime Prevention Council
Washington, D.C.

Bill Morrison
Montgomery County Police Department
Wheaton, Md.

Jim Mosher
Marin Institute
Felton, Calif.

Sheila Nesbitt
Program Assistant
National Crime Prevention Council
Washington, D.C.

Jeanette Noltenius, Ph.D.
Latino Council on Alcohol and Tobacco
Washington, D.C.

Bob Reynolds
Center Director
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Rockville, Md.

John Rosiak
Director, Substance Abuse Prevention Children's Initiatives
National Crime Prevention Council
Washington, D.C.
Robin Stern
Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation
Rockville, Md.

Doug Taylor
Crime Prevention Unit
Loudon County Sheriff's Office
Leesburg, Va.

Alex Wagenaar, Ph.D.
University of Minnesota, School of Public Health — Epidemiology
Minneapolis, Minn.

Faye Warren
Director, Conference and Training Support Services
National Crime Prevention Council
Washington, D.C.

Beverly Watts Davis
Executive Director
San Antonio Fighting Back® of the United Way
Barbara Jordan Community Center
San Antonio, Texas

Jim Wright
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Washington, D.C.

Appendix 2

(Current as of the time of the grant; provided by the grantee organization; not verified by RWJF.)

'Key Learnings from the Conference Workshops'

From http://ncpc.org

Access Denied: Reducing Alcohol Availability

  • Law enforcement needs causal analysis and use of data to allocate resources.
  • Spatial mapping is a useful tool that should be made available to communities.
  • We should analyze alcohol-related crime trends based on newly implemented policies, changes in specific outlets, and other "natural" fluctuations.
  • Data analysis and crime mapping are a good opportunity for community coalitions to partner with law enforcement and local government.

Aggression Escalator: The Role of Alcohol in Violence

  • There is a high percentage of alcohol-related violence at sporting events-maybe there should be alcohol sale and use guidelines for new stadiums?
  • There is a lack of restrictions regarding alcohol consumption in airports and while on board.
  • There is a lack of training for flight attendants on how to deal with intoxicated passengers.
  • Prevention should prevail before the situation gets worse-practitioners and researchers should get together and push for prevention.
  • Remember that people leave stadiums and airports drunk and get in their cars and drive home.

Alcohol and Adolescents: A Violent Combination

  • We need to know more about gang culture and its violence and how alcohol plays a part in that culture. We do know that alcohol is an endemic part of gang life.
  • Policy makers and practitioners use the lack of research and evidence of direct causal relationships between alcohol and violence as an "excuse" for not pushing policy. There is a need for direct research and evidence.
  • We need to take evidence to parents, educators, and the public in plain language to show them the risks of alcohol and violence.
  • It is hard for researchers to convince policy makers that there are other problems associated with drinking besides drinking and driving. Policymakers tend to say, "You can't prove that."

Alcohol Advertising: What Messages Do Youth Get?

  • Starting small can yield results; use simple ideas and keep pushing the points to those who run or generate the alcohol ads.
  • Alcohol advertising shapes public opinion.
  • Citizen and government action is needed to change alcohol advertising.
  • Through actions, citizen groups can change corporate practices.
  • Citizens need to find allies and develop partners. Working together will improve results.
  • Ban all alcohol ads in print, TV, radio, magazine (as we did with tobacco).

Alcohol and College Students

  • "On ground" research (as conducted at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill) is powerful and should be presented to policy makers. It will carry more weight.
  • Encourage a regulation that encourages student government organizations to stop funding alcohol-related events held by Greek organizations. (Many student governments allocate money to fraternities and sororities, which in turn use the funds on alcohol-related events.)
  • Environmental and individual alcohol abuse prevention strategies are needed to reduce or prevent sexual assault and victimization on college campuses.
  • Encourage policy makers to look into current alcohol laws and see what needs to be done to curb the epidemic on college campuses.

Alcohol at Sporting Events and Festivals

  • Encourage leadership and recognition at the federal level regarding alcohol and its relationship to crime and violence.
  • Conduct more comprehensive research related to alcohol at sporting events and festivals, including how it is dispersed and consumed, crime and violence statistics, who is drinking and how much are they drinking, and who are the perpetrators of crime and violence at these events.
  • There is a need to clarify local, state, and federal parameters and roles related to alcohol sales and availability in the community and at events.
  • Conduct or support research related to effectiveness of "best practices" in preventing alcohol-related problems at events, including looking at the impact of social norms.

Alcohol Marketing to Minorities, Genders, and Youth

  • Conduct and analyze research that shows te impact of alcohol marketing to youth and minority groups, and publicize how local groups can use this data to promote activities to prevent alcohol-related problems.
  • Limit alcohol advertising on the national and local levels. Adequately fund a counter-advertising campaign.
  • Identify and establish national leadership to consider and create awareness of alcohol-related problems. (Consider alcohol as a drug.)
  • Establish local and national laws requiring alcohol sellers and servers to be 21 years old.

Alcohol Treatment To Reduce Recidivism

  • Treatment works with clear boundaries and consequences and also works as relapse prevention.
  • There is a need for treatment of gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender recognition as domestic partners and family that qualify them for the community services available to others.
  • There is a need for coordination of services across multiple systems (i.e., law enforcement, DUI courts, probation, mental health, and drug abuse treatment).
  • There is a need for cultural sensitivity and specificity in mental health, drug abuse, and alcohol treatment for the gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender population and persons with co-occurring substance abuse and mental health problems.

Breaking the Bank: The High Cost of Alcohol Abuse

  • Use helpful and current statistics to push your ideas or thoughts — especially hard-hitting stats — with policy makers.
  • Break numbers down and relate them to everyday/everybody so that they are more effective.
  • Use cost figures to frame your arguments and organize your points and thoughts.
  • Cost findings in small communities are extremely useful (mathematical studies and cost estimates).
  • Are locals even documenting what's going on (is alcohol data taken at every level)?
  • Everyone must be collecting alcohol data.

Building Strategies Against Underage Drinking

  • Three should be more grant funding involving government agencies.
  • We need to develop an ongoing standardized tracking system.
  • We need to develop more serious penalties and sanctions for underage drinking.
  • Adjust loopholes in the laws. Condition federal funding based on timely adoption of state laws.

Changing Norms: Perceptions of Risk Among Youth and Parents

  • The degree of denial is consistent among parents. Parents need to be educated on the drinking habits of teens. They have the mindset "not my kid, but yours."
  • Programs like "Every 15 Minutes" should be mandatory in all schools. Such programs have proved to be very effective.
  • Importance of language: as researchers, the use of questions should be directly targeted. Research should reflect the importance of the "question" given as opposed to the "solution" to be filled.

Closing Drive-Up Liquor Windows

  • Let's study and understand the problems associated with high-risk outlets selling alcohol drive-up windows, convenience stores with poor server training).
  • Increase excise taxes on alcohol.
  • Support collecting data on where people who are in alcohol-related problems purchased and consumed the alcohol (to track the sources of the problem).

Collaboration Yields Results

  • Support zoning requirements that reduce alcohol problems in communities (reduce concentration of alcohol outlets, restrict hours of operation, require responsible beverage service training, etc.)
  • Support an increase of the alcohol excise tax.
  • Support a mandatory law requiring patrons to be at least 21 to enter a bar.
  • Ensure that youth have opportunities to participate, be heard, and learn advocacy of efforts to reduce underage drinking. Support college youth as advocates who can work for policy change and increased enforcement of underage drinking on and around campuses.
  • Support or require multiple sources of data available to coalitions for them to interpret and use in their efforts.

Compliance With and Deterrence of Underage Access

  • Establish uniformity nationwide for collecting data (in enforcement and training).
  • More documentation is needed on reports from hospitals and other agencies (emphasis on HMO support, insurance companies).
  • We need to address social availability and build community support and partnerships.
  • Policy makers and funders need to be aware of "best practices," not fund ineffective programs, and learn what works.

Co-Occurring Disorders and Alcohol-Related Crime Overall theme: Encourage coordinated services across systems.

  • Make funding more flexible to integrate services and provide technical assistance on "best practices" around integrating services.
  • Increase community and consumer involvement that provides a needs assessment to drive services and identify intervention opportunities.
  • Develop models of treatment and integration of services (includes prevention, intervention, treatment, recovery, and after-care).
  • Increase research and translate research to action on adolescent co-occurring disorders, adolescent treatment, and treating adults in high-risk environments.

Creative Strategies To Reduce DUI

  • Incentive programs, both public and private (e.g., the private programs that offer monetary rewards for tips) are effective in reducing DUIs; community partnerships that don't have the monetary incentives, but feature a community policing focus, are also effective.
  • We would like to see a "best practices" resource manual on different community and school programs (share people's great ideas).
  • Involve schools and students more in solving the problem. Update programs such as DARE; focus on all ages and don't stop at the eighth grade; and work with media in a more proactive way.
  • Keep up the momentum of research and programs. Do not slow down. Keep penalties harsh. Keep incentives at all levels!

Curbing Cross-Border Bingers

  • Embrace enforcement of alcohol-related offenses by increasing personnel and other resources, performing better ID checks, developing ways to intervene with pedestrians with high BAC levels, and developing special alcohol regulations in "established border zones."
  • Policy makers should become actively and publicly involved in efforts to raise awareness about the dangers and consequences of high-risk drinking and traveling across borders.
  • Establish uniform, earlier closing times for all alcohol-serving establishments in a border area.
  • Place restrictions on transportation made available to youth and adults solely for the purpose of transport to drinking establishments.

Developing and Implementing Environmental Strategies Related to Alcohol and Crime

  • Increase funding to gather more and better data at the local, state, and national levels looking at the connection between crime and alcohol; improve evaluation at all levels; and disseminate research findings and data collection methods to practitioners at the local level.
  • Create a common language and definitions concerning environmental strategies to help improve dialog among law enforcement, ABC's, public health, and the lay community.
  • Create a national database or clearinghouse with the contact information of the programs and environmental strategies used by locals, institutions, and states.
  • Create a training center or offer technical assistance to help local communities understand environmental options and to understand process of implementing these strategies.

Enforcing the Rules Works: Law Enforcement Protecting Communities

  • Make it personal! Get people personally involved.
  • Get buy-in from key leadership. Be ready for moments of opportunity.
  • Use motivational techniques-awards, special status, etc.
  • Use of task forces is effective.

Everybody at the Table: Law Enforcement and Community Partnerships

  • Community surveys are vital to gather different community perceptions of problems.
  • Multifaceted approaches involving multiple systems are key. Multiple challenges need multiple approaches.
  • Making the healthy choice an easy choice is a theme.

Faith Community Involvement in Prevention Efforts

  • Give priority to holistic approaches and program designs to prevention.
  • Encourage community coalitions to have the faith community collaborate with environmentally based prevention strategies.
  • Public funds should be spent on effective, legitimate, outcome-based programs that are run by faith community but do not possess a statement of faith as a requirement for participation.
  • Provide training and assistance to faith community representatives to teach them the procedures, guidelines, and structures of acceptable (federally funded) programs.
  • Allocate public funding for research and evaluation of existing faith-based programs to determine what components of programs are successful.

How Lower BAC Limits Affect Underage DUI

  • Policy advocates need to assess who does not understand how BACs affect underage DUI.

Improving Zero Tolerance Enforcement

  • Educate the entire community of the laws (which will change attitudes).
  • Zero tolerance enforcement has a great potential for enhanced effectiveness.
  • Establish and continue fear of arrest and sanctions.
  • Reduce loopholes and hindrances to zero tolerance enforcement (e.g., too much paperwork).

Judicial and Penal Interventions

  • Use the juvenile and adult justice systems to create graduated sanctions ranging from alcohol abuse treatment and education, community service, and fines, to probation and jail time.
  • Increase accessibility of research to front line practitioners.
  • Develop and support treatment models that have been shown to be effective in criminal justice populations, taking into account the social and familial contexts of the individual.
  • Provide adequate funding for mandated treatment throughout the entire judicial and penal system.
  • Mobilize union and professional organizations to provide lobbying around availability/licensing/taxation issues to reduce drinking.

Law Enforcement Training Needs Related to Alcohol and Crime on College Campuses

  • Restricting youth access to alcohol needs to be a number one priority.
  • There is a need for more money for education and enforcement.
  • Enforce severe penalties for violations of the minimum drinking age law.
  • Support effective strategies to restrict underage access that work.

Learn To Save Lives: Training and Enforcement To Prevent DUI

  • Change the public's perception of the likelihood of being caught if driving under the influence of alcohol. We want people to think, "If I drive drunk or impaired, I will get caught." Checkpoints are an effective tool to achieve this perception. Checkpoints should be one part of an overall strategy.
  • Regarding passive alcohol sensor devices: we need development of handlers units; education on what device does and how to use it; better distribution of the device; and better dissemination of information.
  • We need better collaboration between prosecutors and police.
  • Re-evaluate methods for measuring the effectiveness ratio of checkpoints. Use the number of people exposed to a police officer's review as the denominator as opposed to number of arrests per stops made.

Making the Link Between Alcohol and Crime on College Campuses

  • There must be comprehensive campus/community collaboration and coalitions.
  • There must be mandatory server and management training.
  • There must be an education program or process on alcohol laws and policies.
  • There must be continual enforcement of those laws and policies.

Native Americans and Alcohol Policy

  • More money is needed for aboriginal work.
  • Dispel the myths and stereotypes about drinking in Native American communities.
  • Promoting responsible alcohol consumption is possible, regardless of cultural differences.
  • Get input from Native American communities for policy development, and give them the resources to participate in community development.
  • Consider diversity of cultures when determining the process.
  • When driving policy development, don't be afraid of "harm reduction."

Neighborhoods and Alcohol

  • Research and data from community partnerships and programs to reduce underage drinking should support the goals of the partnership/program funders.
  • Force retailers (all establishments-bars and restaurants) to stick to guidelines and ordinances passed.
  • Organizing and funding must continue once ordinances and laws are passed.
  • Local control is vital.

North and South of the Border

  • Make minimum drinking laws the same (21) in neighboring communities to eliminate the attraction of a lower age.
  • Close bars earlier in the evening.
  • Make it illegal to target minors in encouraging consumption.
  • Establish and enforce compliance with zoning restrictions on outlets, including parking and fire and building limits.

Not In My Yard: How Communities Can Analyze and Act

  • Methodological issues are difficult, but research is evolving.
  • Differences in studies can be attributable to the type of study and the size of the population.
  • It is important to "translate" research for use by practitioners.
  • Involve practitioners in research development.

Prevention Advocates: How To Impact Alcohol Policies

  • Stress the importance of media advocacy with legislative programs and community, parents, leaders.
  • Know that it takes time; persistence; a clear vision; and a clear, long-term plan.
  • Talk to policy makers early and realize all your tools, even the ABC.
  • Know and understand state and local levels are different and must be handled differently.

Prevention in Small and Rural Communities

  • Rural and frontier communities need more funding for internal education, more community support, and more resources and evaluation help.
  • Advocacy is an effective tool to deter underage drinking.
  • Break down territorial boundaries between agencies-we need more interagency collaboration.
  • Look for those who can work the political arena in your favor. Raise community awareness through media.

Prevention Issues in Small and Rural Communities

  • State and county officials need to develop mechanisms to help small communities form and support coalitions that can devise comprehensive strategies-they must be a force for helping build local community capacity, and must not get in the way of communities. Small communities desperately are in need of this help.
  • Not enough policy makers take the time to listen to the perspective of prevention practitioners and researchers. Policy makers must take the time to be educated about what the issues are, what communities are doing that works, and what their role is in helping spread prevention to all communities.
  • State and federal policy makers must begin to require agencies to share data and other information with communities and also communicate that data in ways that communities find practical and supportive of their needs. State and federal policy makers need to act more in the role of a clearinghouse for information on tested approaches, including those that have been proven in the unique context of small communities.
  • When policy makers devise a program or funding strategy, they should design it to support communities' work over the long-term. There is now too much federal and state funding without the technical assistance support to sustain projects over the long-term.
  • Policy makers must encourage communities to engage more youth and other community sectors in devising strategies to combat such complex issues as alcohol and its impact on crime.

Prevention Issues in Tribal Communities

  • Government bodies, policy makers, and funders need to be more receptive to community initiatives and need to support sustainable programs.
  • Bring training to them; provide resources to help them develop their own training.
  • Prevention should be a priority for all policy makers.
  • Government bodies, policy makers, and funders need to better understand that prevention is a "long term" concept, requiring ten or more years before effects can be seen; as a result, it is hard to get supporting (longitudinal) data, so they must be willing to accept "soft" or anecdotal data.
  • The focus should be on overall "healthy people" and not categorical issues (e.g., housing, education, etc.).

Prevention Through Partnership: Merchants and Cops Working Together

  • Additional funds, particularly funding for officers, need to be made available for alcohol compliance checks. Research has proven the results and effectiveness of compliance checks-make sure checks are consistent and on-going. However, while additional funds are good, it is imperative to pool resources and generate capacity through partnerships and coalescing.
  • As a field, we must show that a particular policy will make a change and get policy makers to lift restrictions on how funds can be used. This is especially important when trying to change a law (e.g., mandatory minimum penalties for supplying a minor); funded programs or coalitions should be allowed to advocate and educate on this.
  • We must prove the impact of policy change and clearly, strongly communicate this to legislators. Additionally, data from research need to be translated and made understandable to policy makers.
  • Law enforcement training needs to be easily accessible and pragmatic.
  • Laws need to be enforceable; watch for loopholes, identify them, and close them up (for instance, North Carolina's minimum age law originally didn't make it illegal to sell to under 21's, only for under 21's to possess.) Make the penalties reasonable; a $1000 fine on teens and young adults is unreasonable.
  • ABC boards or authorities need more funding in order to have the capacity to effectively monitor outlets. Be specific about where any increased funding goes and how it should be used so it doesn't get lost on administrative work. Licensing fees could be increased to help generate these needed funds.

Protecting Campus and Community

  • College campuses (presidents) should ban any and all alcohol advertisements on campus, creating a "dry" campus environment.
  • Policy makers should enforce college presidents to become more involved in the issue.
  • Partnerships between policy makers, schools, and students need to be developed in order to curb the problem.

Raising Local Awareness About Alcohol-Related Crime

  • Make available the resources to gather local data on perpetrators, victims, costs, system characteristics, and provide this information to the media and policy makers in succinct and effective ways.
  • Encourage active participation of community leaders, coalitions, youth, and others (e.g., judges, police, the medical community) to raise awareness of community alcohol and crime problems and plan and implement solutions. Encourage priority setting that gives higher priority to those interventions with highest chances of success.
  • Stress the economic benefits and positive aspects of intervention and prevention efforts. Demonstrate and illustrate how problem-reduction can enhance community and neighborhood well-being and safety, and reduce local costs.
  • Policy makers should know impacts of local interventions and share outcomes and successes with other groups and communities.

Raising the Bar: Policy Changes Reducing Problems in Outlets

  • There is a need for systematic analysis of the consequences of policy changes as well as support for policy changes.
  • Policy makers need information from all affected constituents-balance interests and improve "buy-in" from various groups.
  • There is a need for good data to inform law enforcement so they can have better understanding of cause and effect.
  • We need better code and licensing enforcement for bars as well as training for those who serve alcohol.

Retailers, ABC's, and Prevention

  • Political leadership is critical in forming coalitions between public health and retailers.
  • There are real risks and benefits to forming coalitions that must be weighed-it takes work and trust between partners.
  • Representatives of public health should be on ABC Boards.
  • It is important to understand that states have different alcohol sales systems- controlled and open-that affect alcohol policy.

State and National Collaborations Against Underage Drinking (workshop description)

  • Collect data on drinking situations and environments (e.g., "location of last drink" data makes local retailers aware of their role in alcohol-related problems).
  • Off-campus parties are major source of problems; hence social hosting rules (providing alcohol to underage partygoers) are important.
  • Different messages resonate for various age groups; not all youth respond to zero tolerance. Create harm reduction strategies for groups like higher education.
  • Data sharing among the community, law enforcement, and universities is important.

Stop It: Enforcement To Reduce Underage Use

  • Have judges and prosecutors go on ride-alongs to party dispersals-they're too insulated.
  • Encourage insurance companies to raise insurance rates for alcohol violations.
  • Encourage mandatory suspended licenses for alcohol violations.
  • Use controlled dispersal to "contain" intoxicated kids and prevent them from driving home.

Strategic Approaches in Rural Settings

  • The rural context is specialized-socially, politically, and economically. State and federal policy makers must understand this and provide both funding opportunities and support to build capacity to develop collaborations that are based on awareness of this context.
  • State and federal policy makers need to set more clear direction in supporting local prevention approaches-require collaborative approaches as a condition of getting funding.
  • State and federal policy makers need to take more responsibility for sharing what they've found works from among funded initiatives and programs. Small, rural communities sometimes have difficulty finding out about these tested strategies.
  • State policy makers need to help convene more diverse audiences of folks working in local communities. Small community officials and community people need to talk more, get opportunities to learn from one another.

Striving for Success: Prevention Policies That Protect Youth

  • Stop focusing on punitive strategies-policy makers must turn towards a "harm reduction" approach that builds communities' capacity to act.
  • Start educating yourself about prevention and strategies that work-use that awareness to fund community capacity in mobilizing, raising resources, and collaborating.
  • Provide funding for access to alcohol and drug treatment in communities, not just in corrections.
  • Support adequate funding for evaluation of local programs.

The Media: Perpetuating Myths and Misperceptions

  • It is important to encourage media literacy among practitioners, policy makers, and the general public.
  • The alcohol industry's goal is to make itself look good.
  • We must develop and implement multiple strategies for counter ads.
  • Media consumers should consider the source of alcohol advertising, read the fine print, and balance their head with their heart to understand what is being presented.

The Ripple Affect: Improving Neighborhoods Through Alcohol Policy

  • We're moving towards a new way of thinking and talking about change-a new lexicon for policy.
  • Success of work (community revitalization) is dependent upon relationship-building among agencies, law enforcement, and citizens.
  • There's a need for longer-range funding and monitoring (changes don't happen overnight).
  • It is important to use or incorporate evidence-based research to influence and make policy. (This is key for pushing policy changes; the "science" is important.)

The Role of Consumption in Victimization

  • More studies are needed on the relationship between specific alcohol control policies related to public violence and domestic violence.
  • Increase studies and data on research tracking interaction between consumption patterns and contexts on violence (social, environmental).
  • Establish demonstration projects to quantify impacts on change of social norms surrounding alcohol and aggression, acceptability of intoxication, and devaluing of intoxicated victims.
  • Limit or regulate visibility and use of alcohol, alcohol advertising, and alcohol promotion in public venues (i.e., regulate size of containers, sales time at public events, consider children and families).

We Can Help Each Other: Law Enforcement and Health Communities Working Together

  • Make mandatory emergency room testing or screening for alcohol consumption, to facilitate emergency room interventions.
  • Assessing for alcohol consumption should be a "best practices" procedure; treat alcoholism like a disease.
  • Target geographic locations, and "hot spot" establishments within these locales, where alcohol-related problems and injuries occur; increase monitoring of these locales and hotspots.
  • Adequate insurance for intervention is needed (when doctors advise treatment.)

Working with Alcohol Retailers To Reduce Crime

  • Have law enforcement linked with business license bureaus that will take over sanctions, especially around multiple infractions. Set a standard sequence or gradation of consequences.
  • More money is needed for research (published facts), and information clearinghouse, a media campaign based on the research, and local research and evaluation of programs.
  • Establish a national excise tax (levied in every state, or allow a local excise tax).
  • Establish nationwide regulations that require servers and sellers to be at least 21 years old; retailers to complete a mandatory training on management policies; retailers to pass regular, mandatory state compliance checks; and consumers to complete a mandatory training on alcohol laws and responsible use when they turn 21.

Youth and Adults Collaborate Against Underage Drinking

  • Change community environment; use multiple strategies; exert more control over cultural holidays.
  • Youth should be encouraged and empowered to participate in prevention programs. It's equally important to involve everyone in the community, from youth to seniors.
  • Program leaders and supporters should use ideas and information from existing programs but also explore new strategies.
  • There is a need for feedback from individuals and agencies who implement underage drinking laws and initiatives.

Youth as Resources

  • Value your youth. Set high standards. Listen to youth voices as youth are most powerful agents of change.
  • Develop environmental change strategies and provide training to youth to participate and develop that strategy.
  • Document outcomes of strategies.
  • Include local businesses and public officials in development and funding.

Youth Voices Against Alcohol

  • Create and implement a peer-to-peer youth development curriculum (K–12) that includes an interactive substance abuse curriculum (school- and community-based). Infuse into school performance standards.
  • Include a youth plenary in all future Alcohol Policy Conferences.

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(Current as of date of this report; as provided by grantee organization; not verified by RWJF; items not available from RWJF.)


Alcohol Policy XII Conference Book of Attendees. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2000.

Alcohol Policy XII Conference Book of Presenters. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2000.

Alcohol Policy XII Conference Final Program. Washington: National Crime Prevention Council, 2000.

Papers Commissioned for the Alcohol Policy XII Conference (unpublished but distributed to conference attendees):

  • Fell J. "Keeping Us on Track: A National Program To Reduce Impaired Driving in the United States." Journal of Substance Abuse, 6(4): 258–268, 2001. Abstract available online. Full text available for a fee.
  • Greenfeld LA and Henneberg MA. "Alcohol, Crime, and the Criminal Justice System."
  • Leonard K. "Domestic Violence and Alcohol: What Is Known and What Do We Need To Know To Encourage Environmental Interventions?"
  • Mosher J and Jernigan D. "Making the Link: A Public Health Approach to Preventing Alcohol-Related Violence and Crime." Journal of Substance Abuse, 6(4): 273–289, 2001. Abstract available online. Full text available for a fee.
  • Room R and Rossow I. "The Share of Violence Attributable to Drinking: What Do We Need To Know and What Research is Needed?" In: Alcohol and Crime: Research and Practice for Prevention, pp. 41–54. National Crime Prevention Council, Washington, D.C. 2000.

Sponsored Conferences

"Twelfth Alcohol Policy Conference," June 11–14, 2000, Washington. Attended by 496 people from organizations including the American Medical Association, the Center for Health and Social Policy, Join Together, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Nine presentations, 13 roundtables and 76 workshops.

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Report prepared by: Paul Mantell
Reviewed by: Robert Crum
Reviewed by: Karyn Feiden
Program Officer: Joan Hollendonner

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