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Tags: baltimore | maryland | bar | close | early | murders

Study: Closing Baltimore Bars Early Cuts Murders 40 Percent

By    |   Tuesday, 02 April 2024 12:14 PM EDT

Reducing the hours of bars and taverns in a Baltimore neighborhood cut back all violent crime in the area annually by 23%, a study revealed.

According to research done by the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and the Alcohol Research Group of Emeryville, California, the number of murders fell by 51% within the first month of the trial, Newsweek reported.

The homicide rate fell by 40% annually, compared to similar low-income neighborhoods which had no change in hours of alcohol sales.

Decreasing late-night hours of sale may be an effective way for cities to curb excessive drinking, as well as homicides, assaults, and other crimes, the study suggests.

"We were able to take advantage of this natural experiment, and apply rigorous analytic methods to assess the effect of the change," said Erika Rosen, study lead author of the Alcohol Research Group. "While we expected to see some change, the size of the drop in crime was even more significant than we expected."

The team analyzed the impact of the Maryland Senate Bill 571, introduced in September 2020, which reduced the hours of sale of alcohol in 2020, from 20 hours per day to 13 per day. Bars and taverns were required to shut at 10 p.m. instead of 2 a.m.

The team measured total violent crime incidents within 800 feet of bars and taverns from May 2018 to December 2022 — before and after the new legislation. They focused on late-night incidents between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. around 26 bars, Newsweek reported.

They compared these to crimes committed near 41 other bars with unchanged hours of operation in demographically similar Baltimore neighborhoods.

The researchers looked at both violent crime, defined as homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, and rape, and common assault. They considered other factors, including population size and the number of convenience stores in the area.

Overall, the reduction in crime saved Baltimore an estimated $18.2 million in annual costs, the study showed. However, additional research is needed to test this policy in other cities and for longer periods of time.

Substantial research has linked alcohol sales at liquor stores and other establishments to increased neighborhood crime, but this is the first study to examine the impact of changing the hours of sale in a low-income neighborhood on crime in that neighborhood.

The full findings of the study were published in JAMA Internal Medicine. 

"This study’s findings suggest that alcohol policies that reduce hours of sale could be associated with a reduction in violent crimes. Given these findings, SB571 may serve as a model for other cities looking to create safer neighborhoods," JAMA wrote in conclusion.

 

Peter Malbin

Peter Malbin, a Newsmax writer, covers news and politics. He has 30 years of news experience, including for the New York Times, New York Post and Newsweek.com. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Reducing the hours of bars and taverns in a Baltimore neighborhood cut back all violent crime in the area annually by 23%, a study revealed. According to research done by the Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) and the Alcohol Research Group of Emeryville ...
baltimore, maryland, bar, close, early, murders
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2024-14-02
Tuesday, 02 April 2024 12:14 PM
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