Violence Spikes Near Alcohol Takeout Shops

Researchers who studied assault cases in Philadelphia concluded that people have a significantly higher chance of being shot near stores that sell alcohol to go, HealthDay News reported March 11.

University of Pennsylvania researcher Charles C. Branas and colleagues noted that violence seemed to be associated with only to-go outlets, not bars or taverns. “Individuals in and around off-premise alcohol outlets were shot as the victims of predatory crimes, possibly because they had heavily consumed and were easier targets or they were shot as the victims of otherwise tractable arguments that became violent, because one or more of the combatants had consumed alcohol,” said Branas. “On-premise outlets were by comparison highly monitored, relatively safe havens, even in neighborhoods with high levels of gun violence.”

The study appears online in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research and will be published in the May 2009 edition.