Alcohol policy is an authoritative decision used to minimize alcohol-based harm to citizens or individuals in a society. Here are the best considerations that any effective alcohol policy should take care of.
- A clear statement: It should state the purpose. (Example: Prevention of alcohol-based harm and protection of the public’s health and welfare),
- Alcohol taxation: It captures the taxes involved that will help in the reduction of alcohol consumption.
- Taxation revenues: Determines the fractions of the tax revenue that is dedicated to alcohol prevention
- Minimum legal age: Captures the minimum legal age to who an alcoholic product can be sold (minimum 18 years, preferably 20 or 21)
- Restrictions on hours and days of sale
- Licensing of producers and points of sales, including informal producers and outlets.
- Outlet density restrictions: How much should an outlet hold or sell should also be determined.
- Government monopoly of retail sales
- Ban on alcohol promotion and sponsoring (total ban or partial regulations) if any.
- Low blood alcohol concentration (BAC). These are the limits in road traffic (0.5 or less) use to prevent DUIs.
- Sobriety check-points and the random breath-testing policies including fines and jail terms if applicable.
- Overall punishments: Such as an administrative license suspension.
- Screening and brief interventions at all primary health care units in order to create practical sensitization models.
- Public campaigns to mobilize support for alcohol policies.
- Programs to challenging the prevailing alcohol expectancies.
- Training programs for relevant government officers and other professionals including (doctors, teachers, religious leaders, police, NGO leaders, etc).
- Life-skills education and education on the real effects of alcohol for young people.
It’s nothing out of the ordinary really. The truth is that alcohol is harmful to our health. It is therefore very important that we look for ideal rules and policies that will keep us all safe.