MOBILE USERS: m.isthmus.com
Connect with Isthmus on Twitter · Facebook · Flickr · Newsletters · Instagram 
Friday, July 25, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 63.0° F  Light Rain
Collapse Photo Bar

Downtown Drinking

Please limit discussion in this area to local and state politics.

Postby Spoken Word » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:11 pm

The folks in Monroe, CT seem to "get it"

http://www.marininstitute.org/alcohol_i ... _apr04.htm
"Members of Alcohol and Drug Awareness of Monroe (A.D.A.M.) and other officials recently proposed adoption of the ordinance during a forum at Town Hall. The purpose of the ordinance is to reduce the number of "house parties" where underage drinking takes place by raising awareness of the issue. "

Same link, this time in Boston, this mirrors what I've read from Soglin and actually makes sense:

"Bostonâ??s police worked closely with the universities and community groups to rein in the student drinkers. The police stepped up sting operations against liquor stores that sold alcohol to under-age drinkers. At the same time officers made joint â??party patrolsâ?Â
Spoken Word
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 110
Joined: Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:49 pm
Location: Subconscious

Postby spanky » Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:45 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Research, part I:
Cleveland, LA, Newark.


What are the ratios of licensed establishments to other businesses in these study areas? Of licensed establishments, what are the ratios of bars to restaurants. And finally how do those ratios compare to Madison's ratio's?

If we can't answer these questions, and in turn come up with specific performance goals to put in the ordinance, there is no point in pursuing this "research" let alone the ordinance.
spanky
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 969
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:57 am

Postby Stu Levitan » Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:38 pm

What a minute. Is anybody seriously questioning that there is a direct correlation -- to the point of causation -- between density of liquor licenses and incidents of violence and other antisocial behavior? The smallest police district in the city has the greatest concentration of licenses and the highest rates of violent crime -- you think that's a coincidence? And that the greatest number of violent crimes happen at bar time, when too many intoxicated people pour out of too many bars in too close a space -- another coincidence? More substantial batteries happen on and around State Street than anywhere in the city, and about three fourths of the suspects and victims are intoxicated. I don't think you can solve that simply by greater bartende awareness (and there are statutory limits on what the city can require).

We can all agree that too many people drink too much and cause too much trouble, right? So doesn't it follow that one element to a holistic strategy of reducing access is to reduce the number of licenses?

One of the concepts behind the density plan is that having 360 people come out of three bars in one block creates a greater likelihood of trouble than 240 people coming out of two bars. That's damn near common sense, isn't it?
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Postby Darthcrank » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:04 pm

Define "alcohol outlet".

That sounds to me like a liquor store, not a bar. Is your proposed ordinance going to lessen the number of liquor stores where people can buy?

I think those downtown highrise condo dwellers would be ticked off to have to bike out to Whitney Way to get a 6 pack.
Darthcrank
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 523
Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2003 1:26 pm
Location: bus stop on Gorham

Postby Mister_A_In_Madison » Tue Feb 27, 2007 11:38 pm

Nor does "alcohol outlet" appear to mean parties at private residences.

After reading this entire thread this evening (so I may have missed it), it appears Mr. Levitan has not really addressed that shortcoming of the density proposal.
Mister_A_In_Madison
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1574
Joined: Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:45 pm

Postby spanky » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:03 am

Stu Levitan wrote:We can all agree that too many people drink too much and cause too much trouble, right? So doesn't it follow that one element to a holistic strategy of reducing access is to reduce the number of licenses?


That's where it falls apart, I don't know anyone who can guarantee that limiting the licenses through attrition will reduce drinking or curb the problems we are seeing.

Doesn't it make much more common sense to revoke the licenses from establishments that are creating problems? I know many claim it is difficult, cumbersome and inconvenient to do so. Well, let's make it less difficult cumbersome and inconvenient.

The unintended effects of the Density Plan are much more direct, and foreseeable than the intended â?? to me that is the definition of bad legislation.
spanky
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 969
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:57 am

Postby bluethedog » Wed Feb 28, 2007 12:09 am

Stu Levitan wrote:Research, part I:
...

You have flawed conclusions from these studies. Increased density is a result of increased demand, not the other way around. Decreased density will not decrease demand. Problem will remain, just moved to somewhere else.
bluethedog
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1375
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2005 7:49 am
Location: West side

Postby Forum Newbie » Wed Feb 28, 2007 9:43 am

Stu Levitan wrote:What a minute. Is anybody seriously questioning that there is a direct correlation -- to the point of causation -- between density of liquor licenses and incidents of violence and other antisocial behavior? The smallest police district in the city has the greatest concentration of licenses and the highest rates of violent crime -- you think that's a coincidence? And that the greatest number of violent crimes happen at bar time, when too many intoxicated people pour out of too many bars in too close a space -- another coincidence? More substantial batteries happen on and around State Street than anywhere in the city, and about three fourths of the suspects and victims are intoxicated. I don't think you can solve that simply by greater bartende awareness (and there are statutory limits on what the city can require).

We can all agree that too many people drink too much and cause too much trouble, right? So doesn't it follow that one element to a holistic strategy of reducing access is to reduce the number of licenses?

One of the concepts behind the density plan is that having 360 people come out of three bars in one block creates a greater likelihood of trouble than 240 people coming out of two bars. That's damn near common sense, isn't it?


I can agree that too many people drink too much. (not just downtown) I can also agree that there seems to be a higher rate of crime in the central district around bar time than is desirable. I am not sure, however, that I can take the big step from correlation to causation as you suggested. Looking at the July 2005 central district newsletter, it seems that 73% of suspects "were believed to have used alchohol" and 77% of victims "were believed to have used alcohol." It states that 42% of that 77%(?) had moderate to high levels of intoxication. I am interested in that data set, but alas it seems to not be readily available. It does allude to a statistical stretch being made by saying 3/4 of victims and suspects were "intoxicated."

It is likely true that 360 people leaving 3 bars is indeed more likely to cause problems than 240 from 2. But where did the other 120 people go? Did they quit drinking? Or did they go to house parties and start supplying additional venues for underage drinking?

I am still not against this ordinance, but it seems materially weak in a number of areas.
Forum Newbie
Senior Member
 
Posts: 60
Joined: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:18 pm

Postby eriedasch » Wed Feb 28, 2007 2:49 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:how'd you like to come on the radio and debate Joel Plant on this matter?

I'd like to see you invite some current UW students on your show and get their opinion. Maybe one or two over 21, at least one under 21, and even a non-drinker if you can find one. Ask them seriously if shutting down a few bars near campus/State St. area is going to do anything about their decisions to drink or not. Or more importantly how much they plan to drink - isn't that the real issue here? I think we can all say it is OK to go out and have 1 or 2 drinks and stop at that.

I agree you've certainly done your research, and the overall conclusion of less bars = less drinking seems valid on paper. But who is then not drinking as much? The heavy drinkers will continue to drink, as our society has shown drinking to be an acceptable thing and has been a part of our culture (especially in WI) for a long time.

Anyone who has gone to college and partied and/or drank regularly in excess (the problem people you refer to) will tell you honestly if they had to drive to Canada to get booze or even steal it, they would if that's what it took to get drunk. Alcoholism is a disease and shutting down a few bars is not going to do much to cure those unfortunates.

The only people that will stop going to bars will be the occasional drinkers that don't want to walk the extra couple blocks to the bar that is still open.

Seems to me this is a lot of time and effort being spent to get very little results that does not even address the bigger issue of under age drinking.

This may be a stretch, but seems similar to when they lowered the BAC level to .08 for a DUI. Yes, they may be arresting more people with .08-.10 BAC, but at the same time they are taking resources away to arrested the slightly buzzed when they should be concentrating on the real threats on the road - those way over .10 that continue to drive and put everyone else in danger.

Stu, I agree the fact, formulas, and raw data are on your side, but the reality of solving this problem is not.
eriedasch
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 2918
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2001 4:05 pm
Location: east side of Madison

Postby doddles » Thu Mar 01, 2007 2:17 pm

The problems of alcohol-related violence are far too complex to be summarised or solved by focusing merely on the density of bars, of course. And selective citing of a few studies that show correlation (*not causation*) does little to inform the discussion.

I jusr read through this paper, based on the situation in Chicago:
http://popcenter.org/Library/CrimePreve ... kBlock.pdf

While Chicago is obviously not Madison, the study does a very good job of getting to grips with the mix of contextual factors that influence the effects of alcohol availability on crime in and around bars/clubs/liquor stores (see Table 3). Of particular relevance to the downtown area of Madison is this bit:
High crime places within a Hot Spot Area of crime at taverns or liquor stores arc often in nightlife areas serving as playgrounds for the city's young adults or for a specific ethnic group. Often located in an affluent singles area close to putlie transportation, these areas have many high- crime establishments in close proximity, creating a potentiation effect, and attract patrons from around the city. They may also contain one or more attractor bars or clubs that account for a disproportionate amount of the criminal incidents in the neighborhood. Some of these clubs seem to explicitly condone or even encourage violence.
Although the incidence of crime is very high in these places, the risk-per-patron's visit may be slight. since they often tend to attract very large crowds. However, they generate a heavy volutne of work for the police and can be a nuisance for the neighborhood. In these areas, bars and taverns might be closely regulated for liquor law and fire code violations. Beyond this, police work might concentrate on boundaries - the transitional space between nightlife areas and residential neighborhoods. In addition, police might check for driving under the influence and increase street patrol as the 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. closing times approach.


Madison doesn't need to re-invent the wheel here. It should inform itself by looking at strategies that have worked in other, comparable areas, rather than taking a simplistic approach that is likely to do little or nothing to solve the problem.
doddles
Forum Addict
 
Posts: 366
Joined: Tue Apr 05, 2005 1:14 pm
Location: Reading, UK

Postby Stu Levitan » Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:55 pm

eriedasch wrote:I'd like to see you invite some current UW students on your show and get their opinion.


I've invited ASM Pres Shayna Hertzel. Not yet sure if she'll be able to make it.

Ask them seriously if shutting down a few bars near campus/State St. area is going to do anything about their decisions to drink or not.


Again, the density plan does not shut down any bars. Only prevents new bars not connected to restaurants or hotels or through transfer of existing interest. Again it does not shut down any bars.

I agree you've certainly done your research, and the overall conclusion of less bars = less drinking seems valid on paper.


Thanks.

But who is then not drinking as much? The heavy drinkers will continue to drink, as our society has shown drinking to be an acceptable thing and has been a part of our culture (especially in WI) for a long time.


Which is why the density plan is just one part of a holistic approach to changing the drinking culture. Right now, the city is maintaining an existing state of alcohol abuse, not seeking to reduce it.

Alcoholism is a disease and shutting down a few bars is not going to do much to cure those unfortunates.


Alcoholism is not the issue here. Excessive drinking is.

But speaking of alcoholism -- don't forget that George McGovern will be in Madison on March 7 for a fundraiser for the Teresa McGovern Center. Call 222-7311 for more info.

Seems to me this is a lot of time and effort being spent to get very little results that does not even address the bigger issue of under age drinking.


Personally, I think excessive drinking is a bigger issue than just underage drinking. And based on my observations while out one Friday night, and what Noble Wray and Mary Schauf said on Access: City Hall last night, looking for underagers in bars is not a high priority for the police.

Stu, I agree the fact, formulas, and raw data are on your side, but the reality of solving this problem is not.


See, I think facts and data define reality, and that's what policy should be based on.

Speaking of which --
Someone a while back made the point that Madison has grown, and thus needed more bars. The fact is that the number of licenses in the target area -- Blair to Lake, lake to lake -- has grown from 57 in 1997 to 128 in 2006. I don't have my census reports at hand, but I'm pretty sure the population of that area did not increase by a similar percentage in that decade.

Oh, and by the way -- the city attorney will probably be filing several (likely four) charges over the incident where an unconscious 19-year-old female was taken out of a downtown bar to St. Mary's. You won't be shocked to learn which bar (some here will even feel vindicated). Thought you'd want to know.
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Postby scottyp65 » Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:51 pm

How many of those new liquor licenses were for restaurants? 80%? Seems to me the number of bars downtown hasn't changed appreciably in the last 10 years. I don't have statistics, but I can't think of too many locations where there wasn't a bar back then that there is one now. Majestic, a few of the upscale places around the square, where else?

I agree its common sense that 360 from 3 bars will cause more problems than 240 from 2. But limiting the number of bars isn't the answer. Its when and how they let people out. There are all sorts of answers to this.
1.) stagger closing times
2.) allow the bars to stay open, but quit serving alcohol
3.) Give the bars 1/2 hour after closing to allow people to finish their drinks and leave
scottyp65
Senior Member
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Aug 20, 2006 11:32 pm

Postby Stu Levitan » Sat Mar 03, 2007 7:33 pm

Well, yeah, those things might allow for easier dispersion of crowds. But it would take some bars agreeing to an earlier closing than their competitors, and the state allowing the other changes.

Do you believe those things would be easy to accomplish? I sure don't.
Stu Levitan
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 3211
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2003 8:40 pm
Location: Studio B of the historic Abernathy Building

Postby bmasel » Sat Mar 03, 2007 10:30 pm

Used to make marijuana infused beer in the early '80s. You'd pass out, smiling, after 3-5. Mandate bars serve this stuff, and there's no problem with alcohol induced violence, whatever Mike hanson's ignorant opinion.
bmasel
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 1702
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 6:06 pm

Postby spanky » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:45 pm

Stu Levitan wrote:Oh, and by the way -- the city attorney will probably be filing several (likely four) charges over the incident where an unconscious 19-year-old female was taken out of a downtown bar to St. Mary's. You won't be shocked to learn which bar (some here will even feel vindicated). Thought you'd want to know.


And here's the kicker, the new alcohol density ordinance would do nothing to directly address this horrible incident!!!!!
spanky
Forum God/Goddess
 
Posts: 969
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 11:57 am

PreviousNext

Return to Local Politics & Government

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

moviesmusiceats
Select a Movie
Select a Theater


commentsViewedForum
  ISTHMUS FLICKR

Promotions Contact us Privacy Policy Jobs Newsletters RSS
Collapse Photo Bar