Get unlimited digital access to baltimoresun.com. $0.99 for 4 weeks.
News Opinion

Reducing liquor outlets won't curb drinking

Using zoning laws to limit alcohol outlet density won't stop the heaviest drinkers from consuming alcoholic beverages ("Government should use zoning to limit liquor stores, Hopkins researchers say," April 11). Such a solution oversimplifies the problem of alcohol abuse.

Just compare Maryland and Pennsylvania. Despite its smaller population, Maryland's private control of alcohol sales means it has roughly 1.5 times as many alcohol retail outlets as government-controlled Pennsylvania. Yet according to the National Institute for Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, per capita alcohol consumption in both states is nearly the same — 2.21 gallons per year for Maryland and 2.19 for Pennsylvania. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Pennsylvania has higher rates of underage drinking and binge drinking than Maryland.

If retail density directly leads to problem drinking, shouldn't Pennsylvania fare better than its southern neighbor? Instead of making a legal product less available to responsible adults, we should focus on getting alcohol abusers the treatment that they need.

Sarah Longwell, Washington

The writer is managing director of the American Beverage Institute.

  • Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts
  • Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
    Related Content
    • Reining in a neighborhood nuisance

      Our view: A new study validates Baltimore's plan to use the zoning code to reduce the number of liquor outlets

    • Politicizing the chancellor
      Politicizing the chancellor

      When University System of Maryland Chancellor William E. "Brit" Kirwan announced that he planned to retire, the state's Board of Regents hired a firm to conduct a nationwide search to recruit a top-notch academic leader for what is and should be a plum post in American higher education. The...

    • Let the NFL's air out
      Let the NFL's air out

      Professional sport being a gentlemanly pursuit in which participants would surely step forward at the slightest possibility that even the most minor of rules had been bent, let alone broken, it's difficult to imagine anyone associated with the New England Patriots had a hand in deflating the...

    • The power to pardon
      The power to pardon

      The fate of the last four inmates on Maryland's death row was finally resolved this week when outgoing Gov. Martin O'Malley, in one of his final official acts, commuted their death sentences to life without the possibility of parole. It was certainly in keeping with his steadfast opposition...

    • Chartering success
      Chartering success

      A new report by the Abell Foundation concludes that Maryland needs to dramatically increase the state's efforts to recruit successful charter school organizations in order to boost achievement levels among low-income minority students in underperforming public schools. It's a finding that has...

    • A path forward for responsible gas shale regulations
      A path forward for responsible gas shale regulations

      Newly inaugurated Gov. Larry Hogan and his team have only a few weeks to review and take action on the previous administration's proposed "gold standard" rules governing oil and gas development in Western Maryland, or the regulations will go into effect.

    Comments
    Loading