By Annie Hayes // The Spirits Business
Canada has experienced a “dramatic” fall in drink-related crime after it imposed a minimum unit price for alcohol, according to a new study.
The findings, which were published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, monitored the correlation between such crimes against the rise in price of off-premise alcohol sales.
It found alcohol-related crimes including murders and sexual assaults fell by 9.17% between 2002 and 2010 after authorities in British Columbia raised prices by 10%.
In addition, motoring offences linked to alcohol such as killing or injuring someone with a vehicle and refusing to take a breath test, dropped by 18.8%.
The study stated: “Strong associations were observed between the values of minimum alcohol prices and both alcohol-related traffic violations and crimes against persons.”
The study was led by Professor Tim Stockwell, an international expert in minimum unit pricing and director of the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia.
Stockwell said: “It appears that minimum pricing is a powerful tool for reducing alcohol-related harm at the individual and societal level.”
In the UK, increasing alcohol prices have slowed “dramatically” since the abolishment of the automatic tax escalator, according to new data.