CONYERS, GA— April is recognized as National Alcohol Awareness Month by the National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence. The Council increases public awareness and reduces the stigma surrounding alcohol use, alcohol-related issues, and the effective treatments available. Goals for the month may include having an Alcohol-Free Weekend for individuals, families, and communities. However, we would emphasize a step for local governments to take. We recommend proactively working with local businesses to increase compliance with ordinances focused on underage drinking and overconsumption.
Marchman Consulting assist communities with a pro-business approach to reduce the harmful impacts of alcohol. The reason for a sense of urgency is simple; local governments do not emphasize alcohol compliance. The government magazine, Governing: The States and Localities validates the need with the article Why Is Alcohol Still the Most Dangerous Drug? The report recognizes that alcohol is cheaper and kills more people than drugs. However public officials remain focused on the fight against drugs, due to the perception that drugs cause more damage.
After all, is not illegal for adults to buy and consume alcohol. Plus, alcohol is the main ingredient for the service industry, which is still experiencing the devastating effects of the pandemic. But we can encourage more accountability, compliance, and training opportunities to benefit local governments and businesses.
Marchman Consulting helps local governments with alcohol risk management (ARM) for ordinance compliance. An example is Responsible Alcohol Sales and Service (RASS), a training initiative providing a business-friendly program to help protect companies and employees. The initiative has trained over 4,500 participants, with less than 1% receiving charges for failure to comply with ordinances and recognized by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police as an innovative program.
Benefits for businesses include:
• A reduction of Vicarious Liability.
• Understanding behavioral traits to be documented for insurance claims and potential litigation.
• Decreasing Third-Party Liability.
• Meeting the owners’ desire for additional insulation.
Local governments from Watkinsville to Conyers can claim a proven program to increase a community’s compliance rate. For example, one community went from the national average of 72% to an average of 97% in the last three years. The same community reduced the incident rate requiring police response to bars by 68%, saving time and tax dollars for law enforcement. This established true community policing between officers and establishments and reduced the number of DUIs and alcohol-related accidents/vehicular homicides.
No, we are not asking for everyone to stop consuming alcohol, but we encourage a process for accountability and training. If your community is facing issues related to alcohol and compliance, consider our evidence-based strategies for creating community change and positive impact.
Marchman Consulting aids communities to make an impact with all programs by assisting with data analysis, grant development, implementation, and evaluation for sustainability efforts. An example is the alcohol risk management (ARM) measures, including developing community plans, environmental scans, ordinance development, certification courses such as RASS for servers/owners, and training for ordinance enforcement. More information is available at www.marchmanconsulting.com or 678-203-8784.