Santa Monica Bars Mccabes

BY MATTHEW HALL

Santa Monica has one of the highest concentrations of alcohol sales in the county according to a new report released by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

According to the county’s data, Santa Monica has 27.6 on-premises alcohol outlets (such as bars or restaurants) per 10,000 residents and 7.4 off-premises (retail stores) locations per 10,000 residents.

The City By The Sea ranks fifth in the county for density behind West Hollywood (51.1/10), El Segundo (39.7/10.7), Beverly Hills (38.1/7.5) and Hermosa Beach (36/11.7). The nearby communities of Malibu (27.3/11.7) and Culver City (26.6/11.7) are just behind Santa Monica.

Los Angeles Council Districts 11 and 5 cover the areas near Santa Monica, including Venice (11), Westwood (5) and UCLA (5). District 11 had densities of 16/5.7 while District 5 has 16.7/5.1.

The County looked at 88 cities and 59 unincorporated communities in Los Angeles County. Density figures were calculated using the most recently available information (2013) from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control and the U.S. Census.

According to the report, there are 15,253 alcohol outlets county wide and study areas had an average of 8.9 on-premises outlets and 6.2 off-premises outlets per 10,000 population. The report said there was a correlation between richer areas and on-site consumption outlets and poorer areas with off-site outlets.

The report ranked cities into low, medium and high categories for a variety of factors.

Santa Monica’s density of alcohol outlets and the quantity of alcohol related emergency visits/hospitalizations rank as high while it’s violent crime rate, alcohol related deaths and alcohol related vehicle crashes were in the medium tier.

For alcohol related ER visits, Santa Monica has the third highest ranking with more than double the county average.

The report ranked possible consequences of alcohol consumption per 10,000 residents including violent crimes, vehicle accidents, ER visits, hospitalizations and deaths.

Per 10,000 residents, Santa Monica had 35.3 violent crimes, 6 vehicle crashes, 105.5 ER visits, 54.4 hospitalizations, and .07 deaths.

Beverly Hills had 22.2 violent crimes, 0.3 crashes, 60.4 ER visits, 32.6 hospitalizations and 0.6 deaths. Malibu had 21.8 violent crimes, 10.9 crashes, 74.6 ER visits, 44.1 hospitalizations and 1.7 deaths. Culver City had 40.9 violent crimes, 4.1 crashes, 72 ER visits, 53.7 hospitalizations and 0.3 deaths. Los Angeles Council District 11 had 25.1 violent crimes, 3.8 crashes, 32.5 ER visits, 45.8 hospitalizations and 0.8 deaths. Los Angeles Council District 5 had 16.5 violent crimes, 4.5 crashes, 33.5 ER visits, 66.4 hospitalizations and 1.4 deaths.

Of the five consequences related to alcohol outlet density in the report Santa Monica ranks in the top third in three categories (vehicle crashes, ED visits, hospitalizations). Only nine of the 147 cities and communities in the county fall in the top third in the same three categories.

The report doesn’t make city-specific conclusions but it does outline the broad impact of alcohol availability.

“Excessive alcohol consumption continues to be a serious public health concern with substantial implications for disease, violent crimes, traffic collisions, work loss, and social relationships. During 2013 in Los Angeles County, alcohol was involved in an estimated 4,420 motor vehicle crashes, 6,338 motor vehicle injuries, 246 motor vehicle fatalities, 63,424 ED visits, 56,191 hospitalizations, and more than 2,800 alcohol-attributable deaths,” said the report.

The authors say alcohol consumption is a result of many factors but limiting outlet density is a viable strategy for reducing alcohol related problems.

The report recommends a list of administrative activities related to issuing alcohol license and Santa Monica does have some of those recommendations in place already.

Several strategies are also recommended to help communities reduce alcohol related problems such as enforcing restrictions on sale and marketing to minors, expanding support services, increase substance abuse treatment options and provide additional education to minors.

“In summary, alcohol outlet densities were significantly associated with a variety of alcohol-related consequences,” said the report. “However, by working together, policymakers, health care providers, schools, and community stakeholders can reduce the burden of these human, economic, and societal repercussions by focusing on strategies to limit alcohol outlet densities, reducing access/availability/marketing to minors, ensuring access to educational services and community/social support programs, and increasing access to necessary substance abuse screening and treatment.”