The impact of liquor legislation changes on police-recorded serious assault in Queensland, Australia

Coomber, Kerri, de Andrade, Dominique, Puljević, Cheneal, Ferris, Jason, Livingston, Michael, Taylor, Nicholas, Clough, Alan, and Miller, Peter G. (2021) The impact of liquor legislation changes on police-recorded serious assault in Queensland, Australia. Drug and Alcohol Review, 40 (5). pp. 717-727.

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Introduction and Aims: In July 2016, the Queensland government introduced the Tackling Alcohol-Fuelled Violence policy, with some amendments over the subsequent 12 months. Key measures included restricting alcohol sales to 3 am in safe night precincts (SNPs), limiting the annual number of extended trading permits (i.e. trading until 5 am) and introducing mandatory networked identification scanners. We examined the policy impact on the number of serious assaults across all combined SNPs and in five major SNPs: Fortitude Valley, Cairns, Surfers Paradise, Toowoomba and Townsville.

Design and Methods: Using police data (July 2009–June 2019), we examined the impact of the policy on serious assaults during high-alcohol hours (high-alcohol hours; 8 pm–6 am, Friday and Saturday), employing time series methods.

Results: Across all SNPs there was no significant change in the number of serious assaults during overall high-alcohol hours, but a significant 49% decrease in the monthly number of serious assaults between 3 am and 6 am on Friday/Saturday. A significant decrease in the monthly count of serious assaults during high-alcohol hours and specifically 3 am–6 am on Friday/Saturday was evident in Fortitude Valley SNP (52%), and during high-alcohol hours in Toowoomba SNP (43%).

Discussion and Conclusions: Although results were mixed, there was evidence of some promising reductions in alcohol-related violence in SNPs. It is likely that factors such as extended trading permits (venues not closing at 3 am), continued drinking in some venues and 24-h trading in casinos have reduced the potential impacts seen elsewhere.

Item ID: 70305
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1465-3362
Keywords: alcohol, police, policy evaluation, serious assaults, trading hours
Copyright Information: © 2021 Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2022 02:15
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