CDC: Higher alcohol taxes reduce harmful behaviors

March 11, 2010

Raising alcohol excise taxes reduces excessive drinking and related harmful behaviors, concludes a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

According to a study abstract, researchers evaluated 73 published articles and reports to examine the relationship between the price of alcohol, excessive drinking, and harmful consequences of excessive drinking, such as motor vehicle crashes and alcohol-impaired driving. Key findings show raising the price of alcohol by 10 percent would reduce consumption by about 7 percent. The increase in alcohol prices correlated with a decrease in:

  • Motor vehicle crashes and deaths
  • Alcohol-impaired driving
  • Levels of underage drinking
  • Rates of violent crime, such as homicides, assault, robbery and rape
The study was published in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.