These terms were compiled as a companion piece to our User’s Guides for CDC’s Alcohol-Related Harms Prevention Status Reports. The User’s Guides for CDC’s Alcohol-Related Harms Prevention Status Reports provides an overview for public health professionals and stakeholders of three key strategies to reduce excessive alcohol use in communities. Through a series of frequently asked questions, they explain how the strategies work, as well as how to interpret and utilize the information provided by the PSRs.
ABC: Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) is commonly used to reference state laws that regulate alcohol sales and service. In addition, ABC refers to state executive agencies responsible for regulation, licensing, and enforcement under ABC laws.
Ad valorem taxes: taxes based on the value of the beverage. Ad valorem taxes are imposed as a percentage of the price (e.g., 10 percent of retail price), in the same way that sales taxes are calculated.
Alcohol outlet density: the number of physical locations in which alcoholic beverages are available for purchase either per area or per population.
Binge drinking: as defined by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, a pattern of alcohol consumption that brings the blood alcohol concentration level to 0.08% or more. This usually corresponds to 5 or more drinks within about 2 hours for men or 4 or more drinks within about 2 hours for women.
CADCA: the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA) is a nonprofit organization based in Alexandria, VA, that aims to achieve safe, healthy, drug-free communities.
CAMY: the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY), part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health located in Baltimore, MD, monitors alcohol policy and youth exposure.
Commercial host liability: the legal liability of an alcohol retailer for injury or harm to a third party (e.g., a death resulting from an alcohol-related car crash) caused by a patron to whom the retailer illegally served or sold alcohol (because the patron was visibly intoxicated or underage).
Common law: absent specific legislative guidance, courts act using their “common law” authority, which includes a body of rules to be applied in settling disputes—such as evidentiary requirements, defenses, causation, etc.—that dates back centuries.
Common law liability: (used in the commercial host liability context) liability inferred by state courts under their “common law” powers.
Comparative negligence: (used in the commercial host liability context) allows the fact finder in court (i.e., judge or jury) to weigh the relative responsibilities of the patron and the injured third party and reduce the damages awarded to the injured third party accordingly.
Contributory negligence: (used in the commercial host liability context) in states with common law liability, courts may apply this doctrine, which prohibits recovery when the injured third party contributed in any way to his/her injuries, unless the retailer acted intentionally or recklessly (i.e., more egregiously) when the patron was illegally served.
Control state: a state where at least some portion of the wholesale and/or retail alcohol market is operated and controlled by the state itself (e.g., ABC stores).
CUP: conditional use permits (CUPs, sometimes referred to as Special Use Permits) are land use tools used to regulate new alcohol outlets. When a state’s preemption doctrine doesn’t apply, local governments can require local businesses, including alcohol retailers, to obtain and maintain a CUP as a condition of staying in business.
DAO: deemed approved ordinances (DAOs) are public nuisance abatement ordinances used to regulate existing outlets. DAOs automatically issue permits to existing outlets, granting them “deemed approved” status and allowing them to continue operation so long as they adhere to specific performance standards.
Dram shop: in the 19th century, people sometimes referred to drinking establishments as “dram shops” because they served distilled spirits using dram measures. A dram is a small liquid measure (.125 ounces) sometimes used to measure out a serving of alcohol.
Dram shop liability: refers to many of the early laws focused on requiring dram shops to pay for the loss of support experienced by families of habitually intoxicated persons regularly served in the drinking establishments. The dram shop terminology continues to be used in the legal profession, but the term “commercial host liability” is commonly used in the field of public health (see “commercial host liability”).
DUI laws: driving under the influence (DUI) laws prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle while intoxicated, which is defined as having a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Excessive alcohol use: defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as binge drinking, heavy drinking, any drinking by those under the minimum legal drinking age, and any drinking by pregnant women.
Excise taxes: taxes imposed on a per volume basis (e.g., $1.00 per gallon); the most common type of alcohol taxes.
GIS mapping: Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping tools utilize geographical and spatial data and can serve several roles in collecting and reporting density data.
Heavy drinking: for men, consuming 15 or more drinks per week; for women, consuming 8 or more drinks per week.
IOM: the Institute of Medicine (IOM), now the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, is a nonprofit institution that provides analysis and advice on policy decisions related to health and medicine and is located in Washington, D.C.
Morphing: refers to the practice of restaurants transforming into bars during late-night hours, even though they may be licensed as restaurants.
New common law rule: (used in the commercial host liability context) under this rule, an intoxicated patron is no longer the only person responsible for the injuries he/she causes; the seller/server also has a duty to protect the injured third party from harm, and may be held liable for damages.
NIAAA: the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism’s (NIAAA) Task Force of the National Advisory Council on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, located in Bethesda, MD, conducts research on alcohol use and health.
NRC: the National Research Council (NRC), now the Health and Medicine Division of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, focuses on health and medicine and is located in Washington, D.C.
Off-premises alcohol outlets: retail outlets that sell alcohol for consumption off the premises, such as liquor stores, supermarkets, gas stations, and big box stores.
Old common law rule: (used in the commercial host liability context) under this rule, a commercial alcohol seller/server cannot be sued by those injured by the server’s patrons, no matter what the circumstances or actions of the seller/server.
On-premises alcohol outlets: retail outlets that sell alcohol for consumption on the premises, such as bars, clubs, and restaurants.
PSR: the Prevention Status Reports (PSRs) highlight the status of public health policies and practices designed to address 10 important public health problems and concerns for each state and the District of Columbia.
RBS programs: responsible beverage service (RBS) programs provide model policies, procedures, and skill development for identifying and refusing service to intoxicated persons.
Sensitive land uses: locations that pose higher risks when assessing the effects of alcohol outlet density.
SIP laws: sales to intoxicated persons (SIP) laws prohibit the sale of alcoholic beverages to already-intoxicated persons.
State preemption doctrine: the authority of state governments to mandate the practices and policies of lower levels of government. When the doctrine is applied, local governments must adhere to the policies mandated by the higher levels of government, and are precluded from deviating from these policies.
Statutory liability: (used in the commercial host liability context) liability enacted through the adoption of state legislation.
The Community Guide: The Guide to Community Preventive Services (Community Guide) presents evidence-based findings on effective public health interventions. The findings result from reviews conducted by the Community Preventive Services Task Force, which is an independent, nonfederal body of research experts.