What price do we pay to prevent alcohol-related harms in Aboriginal communities? The Alice Springs trial of liquor licensing restrictions

Drug Alcohol Rev. 2006 May;25(3):207-12. doi: 10.1080/09595230600644665.


This paper analyses the trial of alcohol restrictions that was implemented in Alice Springs in the Northern Territory from April 2002 to June 2003. The trial included a ban on alcohol in containers greater than 2 litres and reduced take-away trading hours. The history of the trial, its findings, and the different interpretations placed on trial data is discussed. Particular emphasis is placed on evidence indicating a link between alcohol price and consumption. Data from the evaluations of the Alice Springs trial are reviewed. The trials adds substantial new evidence to the strength of the relationship between alcohol price, consumption and harm as the restrictions led to a 1000% increase in the sale of the cheapest form of alcohol-2-litre port. Recent proposals for supply reduction strategies such as a tiered volumetric tax on alcohol and a trial of alcohol restrictions based on a minimum price benchmark demand further consideration by policy makers, especially in regions marked by a excessive alcohol consumption and a high burden of alcohol-related harms such as Alice Springs.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Alcoholic Beverages / economics*
  • Alcoholic Beverages / supply & distribution*
  • Alcoholism / economics*
  • Alcoholism / epidemiology
  • Alcoholism / ethnology
  • Alcoholism / prevention & control*
  • Custodial Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander*
  • Northern Territory
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Patient Admission / statistics & numerical data
  • Policy Making
  • Program Evaluation / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Problems / economics*
  • Social Problems / prevention & control*
  • Substance Abuse Treatment Centers / statistics & numerical data
  • Taxes / economics*