Alcohol Outlet Density-Marathon County, Wisconsin

At a Glance:

Location: Marathon County, Wisconsin

Date: 2011

Vital Condition: Basic Needs for Health and Safety

Determinants of Health: substance use, neighborhood safety, substance use

Affected Population: N/A

Research Methods: Primary research, Literature review, Survey

Community Types: rural

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The purpose of this HIA was to assess the impact of an alcohol outlet density policy on the community’s health, specifically underage drinking and drinking and driving behaviors. While there was no specific policy under review at the onset of the project, strategies to limit liquor-licensing practices at the municipal level were evaluated, specifically a limit on future Class A alcohol licenses. Access to alcohol, measured by the density of alcohol outlets, was identified as the community’s primary concern and became the focus of the assessment. The investigation of existing conditions generated the following recommendations: A moratorium on future Class A alcohol licenses, Development of a Policy Exemption Committee, Development of an Alcohol License Review Board, Implementation of consistent health behavior surveys among youth, and finally seeking the support of the Marathon County Board of Health for future HIA projects within the County.


Regardless of a decision to adopt the recommendations, which will be presented to the Village Board, the HIA was successful in building important relationships to further the discussion about alcohol misuse prevention in the community.

This Health Impact Assessment Report first appeared in The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health. The Cross-Sector Toolkit for Health was originally developed by the Health Impact Project, formerly a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The Pew Charitable Trusts. The creation of this resource was supported by a grant from the Health Impact Project. The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Pew Charitable Trusts, or the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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