Not Your Typical Alcohol Accord: The Long-Term Impact of a Voluntary Liquor Agreement in a Small Australian Town

Richard Midford, John Mckenzie, Rachel Mayhead

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Background: The town of Norseman introduced a Voluntary Liquor Agreement (voluntary restrictions on alcohol sales) in 2008, to reduce problematic drinking. This study examined its long-term impact.

    Methods: Quantitative data on alcohol (cask wine, fortified wine, spirits) wholesale sales, hospital emergency visits and alcohol related offenses were compared from before to after the introduction of the restrictions. Qualitative interview data were collected from 10 key informants and from focus groups with Indigenous residents. 
    Results: Consumption of cask wine declined in the short and long term. Fortified wine consumption did not change in the short term, but declined in the long term. Spirit consumption did not change in the short term, but increased in the long term. Total beverage consumption did not change at any time. There was no change in hospital emergency visits. There was a decline in Indigenous and non-Indigenous burglary and assault offenses, and a decline in Indigenous domestic violence. Police tasking (callouts) declined. Key informants andfocus group participants indicated the behavior of drinkers, alcohol consumption, alcohol harms and community climate had all improved. 
    Conclusions: These findings indicate that alcohol restrictions, backed by the community,
    can have a long-term impact on local alcohol problems.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1546-1556
    Number of pages11
    JournalSubstance Use and Misuse
    Volume52
    Issue number12
    Early online dateApr 2017
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2017

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