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READER POINTS OUT PROBLEMS ABC CAUSES FOR ARKANSAS YOUTH


A reader sent us an email that put a spotlight on how the ABC in an effort to placate the wholesale and convenience store special interest groups or lobbyists, is partly to blame for youth unemployment and in turn crime.

By permitting unlimited off-premise beer permits in wet counties the ABC has eliminated a huge potential of employment sources for our youth. These outlets also greatly contribute to crime.

Research indicates:

• The number of alcohol outlets is related to violent assaults. One study showed that each additional alcohol outlet was associated with 3.4 additional assaults per year. Scribner, R., Mackinnon, D. & Dwyer, J.: “The risk of assaultive violence and alcohol availability in Los Angeles County.” American Journal of Public Health (85) 3: 335-340. 1995.

• Alcohol outlet density has been shown to be the single most important environmental factor explaining why violent crime rates are higher in certain areas of the city than in others. LaBouvie, E. & Ontkush, M.: “Violent crime and alcohol availability: relationships in an urban community.” Journal of Public Health Policy 19(3):303-318. 1998.

• There are a greater number of alcohol-related injury crashes in cities with higher outlet densities. A 1% increase in outlet density means a .54% increase in alcohol-related crashes. Thus, a city of 50,000 residents with 100 alcohol outlets would experience an additional 2.7 crashes for each new outlet opened. Scribner, R., Mackinnon, D. & Dwyer, J.: “Alcohol outlet density and motor vehicle crashes in Los Angeles County cities.” Journal of Studies on Alcohol (44): 447-453, July 1994.

• Blocks that have more bars have higher crime rates for murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, grand theft and auto theft. Adding one bar to a block would result in 3.38 crimes committed on that block in a year. It would increase the risk of murder taking place on that block by 5%, and increase the risk of having a violent crime of any type by 17.6%. Runcek, D. & Maier, P. “Bars, blocks and crimes revisited: linking the theory of routine activities to the empiricism of ‘hot spots.’ “Criminology (29) 4: 725-753. 1991. 


The reader correctly points out that Dollar General is being granted a great number of off-premise beer permits weekly. See for yourself by looking at the ABC's weekly reports.

The ABC is in the business of approving permits. Permits equal fees that in part provide operating funds the ABC.  More outlets increase the influx of funds due to fines from violations and subsequent settlements. Can you say cash cow?

This means that the ABC will issue permits to outlets too close to a church or school; to individuals that have felony convictions and extensive criminal records or multiple permits to married individuals (stay tuned for a post on these).

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