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Searchable Online Database Shows Changes in State Alcohol Policy

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Trying to keep up with alcohol policy changes in your state or to compare policy changes across multiple states through 2009? The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS) is the resource for you.

Sponsored by The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) at the National Institutes of Health and developed by the The CDM Group, Inc., among others, APIS now includes 34 policy changes across 29 policy areas made in 2009.

According to APIS, many of the states’ 2009 policy changes are consistent with reducing both underage drinking and its consequences, and alcohol-related death and injury in the general population. Highlights include: 

Underage Drinking

  • Three states (Arkansas, Tennessee, and Utah) enacted new prohibitions against hosting underage drinking parties (social host laws).
  • Four states revised their “Use/Lose” laws, which penalize youth for using alcohol by imposing the loss of a young person’s driver’s license. Illinois and Utah made license sanctions mandatory; Maryland added consumption as a use/lose violation. Arkansas enacted a discretionary use/lose law for those under 18.

Alcohol Control

  • Alabama, Montana, and West Virginia enacted legislation that altered the availability of beer with high alcohol content in state-run and licensed establishments. 

Health Insurance Loss Due to Intoxication (UPPL Laws)

  • Ohio and North Dakota enacted statutes that prohibit insurers from denying payment for insurance benefits for losses due to the intoxication of the insured.

 Health Insurance Parity for Alcohol-Related Treatment

  • Eight states revised their health insurance parity laws. Five states (Kansas, Massachusetts, Washington, South Carolina, and West Virginia) enhanced their laws by adding mandates pertaining to various elements of coverage. Nevada and Arkansas eliminated their “must cover” and “must offer” mandates, respectively, while Alaska shifted from a “must cover” to “must offer” mandate.

Want more information? Check out the APIS website.

 

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