Strategies Used by Local Law Enforcement Agencies to Prevent Overservice of Alcohol in the United States

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Overservice of alcohol, defined as commercial provision of alcohol to an individual who is obviously intoxicated, is illegal in most states and contributes to motor vehicle crashes and violence. Law enforcement agencies use various strategies that aim to reduce overservice at licensed alcohol establishments (e.g., bars, restaurants). Place of Last Drink (POLD) data collection is an emerging overservice enforcement strategy. POLD identifies patterns of overservice, which can provide support for targeted interventions to prevent overservice at offending establishments. We describe the prevalence of POLD and other overservice enforcement strategies and associations with agency characteristics, which has important implications for public health and safety. We conducted a national survey of 1024 municipal (e.g., town, city) and county law enforcement agencies in 2019 (response rate = 73%). We assessed the use of overservice enforcement strategies conducted by the agencies over the past year. We examined associations of each type of overservice enforcement strategy with agency and jurisdiction characteristics using regression models. 27% of responding agencies reported conducting overservice enforcement and 7% conducted POLD data collection specifically. Municipal (vs. county) agencies and agencies with an officer assigned primarily to alcohol enforcement activities were significantly more likely to conduct overservice enforcement generally but not POLD data collection specifically. Overservice enforcement in general, and POLD data collection specifically, are not widely conducted. Prevention of overservice has the potential to reduce harms related to excessive alcohol consumption. Increased evaluation of overservice enforcement strategies should be prioritized.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-17
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by a grant from National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism under Grant R01 AA026610-01.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.


  • Alcohol
  • Enforcement
  • Overservice
  • Prevention

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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