The impact of retail practices on violence: The case of single serve alcohol beverage containers


Robert Nash Parker PhD, Professor, Co-Director, Kevin J. McCaffree BA, Research Assistant, Daniel Skiles PhD, Vice President. Professor Robert Nash Parker, Presley Center and Department of Sociology, University of California, Riverside, CA 92521, USA. Tel: +1 9518274604; Fax: +1 9518277394; E-mail:


Introduction and Aims.This paper examines the role that sales of single serve alcoholic beverages plays in violent crime in surrounding areas. Increasingly a target of regulatory measures, this is the first study to systematically assess the impact of single serve containers on neighbourhood violence.

Design and Methods.The relative proportion of shelf space in each liquor establishment in San Bernardino, CA devoted to single serve alcohol containers was surveyed. Assuming that this is a rough indicator of the amount of sales derived from single serve containers, we use this indicator as a measure of the impact of specific retail practice on violence around the outlet.

Results.Results show that the average proportion of shelf space devoted to single serve containers in the unit of analysis, the US Census Bureau block group, was positively related to violent crime, net of overall retail availability of alcohol and relevant social and economic indicators often used to predict violent crime rates in such units.

Discussion and Conclusions.These findings suggest that if the city were to make the voluntary ban on single serve container sales mandatory, violence in the surrounding areas would decline, all other things being equal. This study provides a much more grounded and specific justification for enacting such policy changes and once again shows the utility of alcohol policy for the reduction of crime and violence.[Parker RN, McCaffree KJ, Skiles D. The impact of retail practices on violence: The case of single serve alcohol beverage containers. Drug Alcohol Rev 2011;30:496–504]