There are more and more bars in D.C., many stay open until 4 a.m. on select holiday weekends throughout the year and now liquor stores are able to sell spirits on Sundays. Needless to say, there’s plenty of places and ways to get a drink in town. And while that may be great for attracting new residents and padding city coffers, it also has a downside — crime.
A report published by the Urban Institute last month (and noticed this morning by the Examiner) found that the presence of on-premise outlets (like bars) tend to track with increases in aggravated assaults while off-premise outlets (like liquor stores) are more closely associated with increases in domestic violence.
The report says that cities like D.C. have a number of tools at their disposal to deal with violence in areas where many bars are concentrated, including shutting down bars associated with violent incidents (D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier can unilaterally close down bars for 96 hours), mandating better training for staff and staggering closing times. (D.C. also bans the sale of single beers in Wards 2, 4, 7, and 8 and in Mt. Pleasant.) Interestingly, during a debate in the D.C. Council last year on whether or not to allow bars to stay open until 4 a.m. year-round, some bar owners argued that the later hours would allow them to better manage the outflow of patrons.
[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]