Document Type


Publication Date



Taylor & Francis

Source Publication

The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

DOI: 10.3109/00952990.2014.918622


Background: There is considerable evidence of an association between alcohol outlet density and violence. Although prior research reveals the importance of specific characteristics of bars on this association and that the relationship between bar density and violence may be moderated by these characteristics, there are few similar studies of the characteristics of off-premise outlets (e.g. liquor and convenience stores).

Objectives: We examined whether immediate environment, business practice, staff, and patron characteristics of off-premise alcohol outlets are associated with simple and aggravated assault density.

Methods: Cross-sectional design using aggregate data from 65 census block groups in a non-metropolitan college town, systematic social observation, and spatial modeling techniques.

Results: We found limited effects of immediate environment, business practice, staff, and patron characteristics on simple assault density and no effect on aggravated assault density. Only two out of 17 characteristics were associated with simple assault density (i.e. nearby library and male patrons).

Conclusion: This is the first study to examine the association between several off-premise alcohol outlet characteristics and assault. Our findings suggest that where the off-premise outlets are located, how well the immediate environment is maintained, what types of beverages the outlets sell, who visits them, and who works there matter little in their association with violence. This suggests the importance of outlet density itself as a primary driver of any association with violence. Public policies aimed at reducing alcohol outlet density or clustering may be useful for reducing violence.


Accepted version. The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Vol. 40, No. 4 (2014): 327-335. DOI. © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Used with permission.

Snowden_15445acc.docx (190 kB)
ADA Accessible Version