Pubdate: Mon, 26 Feb 2001
Source: Log Cabin Democrat (AR)
Copyright: The Log Cabin Democrat
Contact:  1058 Front Street, Conway, Arkansas    72032
Fax:  501-327-6787
Author: Patrick A. Stewart,  Catherine C. Reese


Andrew A. Green and Chuck Plunkett's recent news article, "In Arkansas, 
beer run likely to be a long trip," illustrates an obvious truth: 
County-based alcohol policy does not prevent alcohol consumption. Indeed, 
our analysis of alcohol policy shows that the wet-dry county distinction 
does not have the desired effect.

Specifically, a statistical analysis of 1997 Arkansas county data 
concerning juvenile and adult alcohol and drug arrest rates, drunk driving 
arrests and alcohol/drug motor vehicle accident rates shows no significant 
difference between wet and dry counties. What does make a difference in 
these equations is the number of police per 1,000 citizens in a county.

If there is one lesson to be learned from Green and Plunkett's article and 
our analysis, it is that prohibition policy in Arkansas has failed. 
Government policies concerning substance abuse are potentially more 
effective when dealing with underlying reasons for their abuse than with 
limiting supply.

At best, those wishing to drink alcohol will drive over county borders or 
state lines to obtain it; at worst, Arkansans will turn to criminal 
activities or illegal drugs.


Jonesboro Editor's note: Patrick A. Stewart, Ph.D., and Catherine C. Reese, 
DPA, are members of the Arkansas State University Political Science 
Department. They were assisted in this project by graduate student Jeremy 
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MAP posted-by: Larry Stevens