Clear evidence of public harm by increasing retail alcohol locations: Report

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The public is largely unaware of the risks, CAMH researchers say

TORONTO, March 27, 2014 /CNW/ - While global convenience-store and gas station conglomerates lobby the Ontario government to permit them to sell beer, wine and hard liquor, a wide range of evidence from Canada and around the world proves increasing access to alcohol through deregulation leads to crime, impaired driving and underage drinking.

Researchers Norman Giesbrecht and Ashley Wettlaufer of CAMH (Centre for Addiction and Mental Health) compiled evidence from several studies on behalf of Public Health Ontario that proves increasing the density of alcohol outlets leads to increased social problems.

In a public webinar they recommended maintaining a responsible system of alcohol retailing that promotes community safety and enhanced public health. Studies they surveyed found increased density of private liquor outlets led to increased rates of suicide, domestic violence and hospital admission in the communities probed.

The researchers also said studies indicate that private alcohol retailers in Alberta and British Columbia were not as effective or thorough at checking IDs.

"arrive alive DRIVE SOBER wants Ontarians to know the truth about what happens when corner stores are allowed to sell alcohol," said Anne Leonard. "We focus on preventing impaired driving, but as the research indicates, there are many other social problems caused by allowing the sale of alcohol in corner stores unchecked. We have a responsible, convenient system in place; tampering with it would put our communities at risk."

SOURCE arrive alive DRIVE SOBER

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For further information:

and a copy of the findings outlined here, contact: Anne Leonard 416-485-4411

www.arrivealive.org