With the onset of summer, many American cities are bracing for another wave of violent crime. Summer parties, in particular, are a potent mix of high temperatures, young people, little surveillance—and alcohol, a major driver of crime.
Drinking is a bigger source of crime than we give it credit for. Data from California and Oregon indicate that those just over the legal drinking age are significantly more likely than those just under both to drink and to commit crimes, especially those crimes involving alcohol. Raising alcohol taxes reduces crime, as does adding extra innings to baseball games, giving fans more time to sober up. In jurisdictions from Kansas to Brazil, restricting alcohol access reduced crime, while making alcohol easier to get increased crime.
Connor Harris is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here. Charles Fain Lehman is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and a contributing editor of City Journal. Follow him on Twitter here. Based on a recent MI report.
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