Summer Sale! Get unlimited digital access for 13 weeks for $13.
Opinion
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.

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

  • Kim Davis same-sex marriage licenses [Poll]

    Kim Davis same-sex marriage licenses [Poll]

    Should Rowan County, Ky., Clerk Kim Davis be fined, jailed, both or neither for her refusal to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples?

  • Discovering Twitter's purpose

    Discovering Twitter's purpose

    I'm 27 years old — and probably should have figured this out already — yet I've just realized how cool Twitter is.

  • HUD: 50 years of straying from its mission

    HUD: 50 years of straying from its mission

    Describing the need to establish the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson said "our cities and our new urban age must not be symbols of a sordid society."

  • The Horseshoe's successful first year

    The Horseshoe's successful first year

    In gambling, there are winners and losers. In the case of Baltimore's Horseshoe Casino, which recently celebrated its first anniversary, the big winners are the city and its taxpayers. Our company, Sage Policy Group Inc., recently conducted the first economic impact assessment of Baltimore's newest...

  • Labor Day: What happened to promised abundance?

    Labor Day: What happened to promised abundance?

    In 1928, famed British economist John Maynard Keynes predicted that technology would advance so far in a hundred years -- by 2028 -- that it would replace all work, and no one would need to worry about making money:

Comments
Loading
84°