The effects of liquor licensing restriction on alcohol-related violence in NSW, 2008-13

Addiction. 2015 Oct;110(10):1574-82. doi: 10.1111/add.12951. Epub 2015 Jun 3.


Aim: To estimate the effect on assault of a series of legislative reforms that restricted the trading hours and trading conditions of licensed premises in New South Wales (NSW), Australia.

Methods: We examine the effects of the legislative reforms introduced between July 2008 and January 2012 using time series structural models. These models are used to estimate the underlying long-term dynamics of the time series of police recorded domestic and non-domestic assaults occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) and assaults occasioning grievous bodily harm (GBH) in NSW between January 1996 and December 2013. The effect of the legislative changes is captured by including terms in the models which reflect a smooth step change in the number of assaults.

Results: The reforms introduced between July 2008 and January 2012 were associated with a fall in levels of ABH and GBH assaults. The joint effect of all the interventions on ABH lasted until July 2013, accounting for a reduction of -31.27% over that period [parameter estimate -0.38 with 95% confidence interval (CI) = -0.65, -0.10)]. The same set of interventions had a greater effect on GBH assaults; achieving a -39.70% reduction over a shorter period of time July 2008 and July 2012 (parameter estimate -0.51 with 95% CI = -0.69, -0.33).

Conclusion: Legislative reforms introduced in New South Wales, Australia between July 2008 and January 2012 to restrict trading hours and trading conditions of licensed alcohol premises appear to have reduced the number of police-recorded assaults of ABH and GBH by 31.27% and 39.70% respectively.

Keywords: Alcohol; assault; consumer sentiment index; liquor licensing; structural time-series.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Alcoholic Beverages*
  • Commerce / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Domestic Violence / statistics & numerical data*
  • Food Industry / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Humans
  • Licensure / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • New South Wales
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data