Study shows correlation between alcohol-dense areas, emergency calls

The Madison Finance Department and Public Health Madison and Dane County concluded there is a correlation between alcohol outlet density and emergency calls.

A study, “Impacts of Alcohol Outlet Density on the Provision of City Services,” found a significant association between alcohol density and calls to the Madison Police Department and Building Inspection. The study did not find a significant relationship between alcohol density and fire and emergency medical services calls.

The Alcohol License Review Committee is meeting to discuss possible options to decrease the number of overconsumption incidents, including OWI and criminal offenses, according to Alder Paul Skidmore.

Madison’s Alcohol License Review Committee is discussing ways to decrease overconsumption incidents after a study found a correlation between the amount of places that serve liquor and MPD emergency calls. #News3Now pic.twitter.com/2JAvtbodNr

— Gabriella Bachara (@GabbyBachara) October 25, 2019

Skidmore said there are many ways up for discussion, including one called “place of last drink.”

“If there is an incident involving alcohol that the arresting officer will attempt to identify where the place of last drink was,” Skidmore said.

Skidmore said this would hold license holders more accountable.

Another consideration is to stop approving liquor licenses.

“There’s going to be a look at placing a cap on density, as in, ‘There are too many bars in this area, we aren’t going to grant any more liquor licenses,'” Skidmore said.

Lastly, Skidmore said a tax could be placed on areas with high alcohol densities.

“Where there is a huge number for calls of service and a drain on police resources, there could be a surcharge to people within the district who serve alcohol to help pay for the services,” Skidmore said.

Skidmore said the committee is expecting to do something before the end of the year when the alcohol overlay district expires.

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