chapter  7
33 Pages

Dealing with the Devil: State Regulation of Alcohol

This chapter presents a systematic overview of contemporary U.S. state public policies toward alcohol. First, the policy theory introduced in chapter 1 is modified for the cross-sectional study. Second, the political forces likely to affect alcohol policies are operationalized. Third, public policies designed to regulate the sale and use of alcohol are measured. These measures are divided into two parts---regulations that restrict the sale of alcoholic beverages, and those that seek to limit a major negative impact of alcohol, drunk driving. Fourth, the effectiveness of public policies is assessed by investigating whether or not alcohol regulatory policies can reduce alcohol consumption or alcohol-related mortality rates and whether or not drunk driving laws can reduce fatal automobile accidents. Finally, some second-order consequences of alcohol and alcohol policies are examined.