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Community Alcohol Control as a “Best Practice” Matt Berman Institute of Social and Economic Research University of Alask PowerPoint Presentation
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Community Alcohol Control as a “Best Practice” Matt Berman Institute of Social and Economic Research University of Alaska Anchorage. Alaska local option law Local option and injury deaths in rural Alaska Factors contributing to success with local option.

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Community Alcohol Control as a “Best Practice”Matt BermanInstitute of Social and Economic ResearchUniversity of Alaska Anchorage
  • Alaska local option law
  • Local option and injury deaths in rural Alaska
  • Factors contributing to success with local option
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Major Events in the History of Alcohol Regulation in Alaska

1918 Alaska Territory goes dry after referendum in 1915.

1920 Prohibition throughout U.S.

1933 Prohibition repealed. Indian reserves and rural Alaska remain dry.

1936 Congress extends Indian Reorganization Act (IRA) to Alaska.

1941 Territorial legislature expands local option for cities to ban alcohol.

1953 U.S. allows IRA tribal councils to legalize liquor sales on reserves.

1959 Alaska becomes a state. State refuses to recognize tribal authority.

1971 ANCSA ends federal recognition of tribal legal authority.

1980 State legislature greatly expands local option to ban importation.

1986 Local option law amended to allow communities to ban possession.

1998 U.S. Supreme Court rules against Venetie and Indian Country in Alaska

community alcohol control options under alaska local option law
Community Alcohol Control Options Under Alaska Local Option Law
  • Allow sale only at community liquor store
  • Ban sale but allow importation
  • Ban sale and importation
  • Ban sale, importation, and possession
how have alaska communities used the local option law
How have Alaska communities used the local option law?
  • Between 1981 and 1999, 112 communities held 197 alcohol control elections.
  • 69% of elections added new restrictions on alcohol,
  • 13% removed restrictions
  • 18% failed to get a majority vote to change the law.
  • Most communites chose to ban sale and importation
a few communities have held many elections elections held between july 1 1981 through may 31 1999
A Few Communities Have Held Many Elections Elections held between July 1, 1981 Through May 31, 1999
how has alcohol control affected health and safety in rural alaska
How has alcohol control affected health and safety in rural Alaska?
  • We look at injury deaths
  • Why?
    • Only systematic indicator that is available for all Alaska communities
    • Injury death rates the tip of the iceberg
    • But it is the part that is most visible
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Homicide death rates fell dramatically in communities that went dryHomicide death rates: comparing wet vs. dry, 1980-93
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Accident death rates fell faster in communities that went dryUnintentional injury death rates: comparing wet vs. dry, 1980-93
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Suicide rates changed little in communities that went dry, but rose in communities remaining wetSuicide death rates: comparing wet vs. dry, 1980-93

factors that increase likelihood that alcohol control improves outcomes
Factors that increase likelihood that alcohol control improves outcomes?
  • Community speaks with one voice
    • Election wins overwhelming majority
    • No attempt to remove controls
  • Community fosters learning and identity
    • Role models for youth: both traditional and modern
    • Communication across generations: youth, parents, elders
further information

Further Information?

Please visit the ISER web site at www.iser.uaa.alaska.edu/