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Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project

Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project

Excessive alcohol use remains a significant threat to the health, safety and prosperity of Wisconsin’s residents. In Wisconsin, the alcohol control framework is guided by the Wisconsin Statutes, which provides municipalities with the authority to license and regulate alcohol sales. Wisconsin’s municipalities have the ability and authority to improve their community alcohol environment. Research has identified policies or practices that prevent and reduce alcohol misuse without inconveniencing moderate adult drinkers.

The Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project supports local elected leaders, public health professionals and others as they identify local alcohol-related issues and implement policies to address them.

Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project Logo

What is the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project?

The Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project provides training, tools and technical assistance to municipalities, law enforcement, public health and community groups working to improve the alcohol environment and reduce alcohol-related problems. Since its founding in 2010, it has worked with communities to implement evidence-informed policies that can reduce underage and binge drinking.

In even-numbered years, the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project sponsors the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Seminar, the only conference in Wisconsin that focuses on evidence-based policies and practices to prevent excessive alcohol consumption.

Wisconsin’s Alcohol Culture and Environment

Despite decreases in underage drinking, Wisconsin’s rate of underage drinking remains above the national average. Early alcohol use creates a vulnerability to later opiate misuse and dependence among our children, a risk that should trouble all residents. Unhealthy and dangerous drinking among Wisconsin’s adult population remains disturbingly high. Recent research suggests that even moderate alcohol use among the elderly carries more health and safety consequences than previously known. Given the broad scope of alcohol-related concerns in Wisconsin, this is a public health and safety concern that must be addressed at the population level.

APHA 2022 Poster Presentation

Creating Excitement Around Implementing Policies to Reduce Excessive Alcohol Use in Wisconsin

The Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project (WisAPP) is presenting a poster at the 2022 Annual Meeting and Expo of the American Public Health Association (APHA) in Boston on November 6, 2022, summarizing the reach and breadth of our alcohol prevention work over the last year.

View the poster (PDF)

APHA 2022 Poster Presentation

Moving Forward: Policies and Strategies to Prevent and Reduce Excessive Alcohol Use in Wisconsin

Analysis and Recommendations for Addressing and Reducing Excessive Alcohol Use in Wisconsin (December 2021)

Wisconsin State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA)
Prevention Committee
Alcohol Prevention Ad-Hoc Workgroup

View the full report

The goal of this report is to provide evidence-based research regarding policies to keep the health, safety, and prosperity of Wisconsin’s residents in good stead. Unhealthy and dangerous drinking among Wisconsin’s adult population remains disturbingly high. These actions create an environment that too often, our children and youth will model. It is critical we all work towards providing a safer environment for our families, friends, and neighbors. This is a public health and safety concern that must be addressed at the population level in order to create healthy and safe communities for all.

Using This Report

This report is designed to help the user find how they can be impactful regarding Wisconsin’s alcohol environment in order to create a safe and healthier Wisconsin for all. The intent is the recommendations provided in this report will be used in your community, with coalitions looking to reduce harm of excessive use of alcohol; with healthcare systems, and providers; with municipalities, counties, and state government officials; and with decision makers and lawmakers of all types and levels of government so they all can make informed decisions to create safer and healthier communities.

The 61 recommendations in this report are listed under the organizations that should consider the recommendation. When a recommendation should be considered by multiple implementing organizations, the recommendation will appear in all appropriate sections and will have a note indicating where it is cross-listed. The report includes recommendations for the following implementing organizations:

  1. Local Government (PDF) (Counties; Tribes; Municipalities including Cities, Villages, and Towns; and their various departments, such as law enforcement, etc.)
  2. State Government and State Agencies (PDF)
  3. Civic, Community, Educational and Religious Organizations (PDF)
  4. Healthcare Systems and Providers (PDF)
  5. Alcohol Industry (PDF)

Additional Resources

Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project

Understanding the Problem

Defined as binge drinking, heavy drinking, underage drinking, and drinking while pregnant, the impact of excessive alcohol use ripples throughout society, impacts violence and injury, and negatively impacts the economy.

Learn more
Standing up to be heard

Community Action: Evidence-Based Solutions

Resources and infographics to help Wisconsin communities find ways to reduce excessive alcohol use.

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Monitor and evaluate

Monitor & Evaluate

Efforts to curb excessive alcohol use need to be monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis to determine how they are working.

Learn more
Committee members talking

Alcohol Licensing

Alcohol licensing resources for communities to ensure safety, security, and common courtesy for neighboring businesses and residences.

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Decision makers talking

Municipal Policies

Summaries of state law changes as well as items that may be of interest when considering improving the local alcohol environment.

Learn more

Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project News

See All MCW News

Meet Our Team


Maureen Busalacchi

Director, Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project (WisAPP)


Felice Borisy-Rudin, JD, PhD

Policy Analyst, Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project (WisAPP); Assistant Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology

About the Medical College of Wisconsin Comprehensive Injury Center (CIC)

Injury is a biopsychosocial disease that presents a lifelong risk of premature death and disability. Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death among individuals ages 1 through 44 in the United States and intentional injury (e.g., homicide and suicide) is a leading cause of death among individuals ages 10 to 34.

Our vision at the Comprehensive Injury Center is a healthier and safer community for all.

Contact Us

Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project
Comprehensive Injury Center
Medical College of Wisconsin
8701 Watertown Plank Rd.
Milwaukee, WI 53226


This project is funded by:
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
Division of Care and Treatment Services

Maureen Busalacchi


Felice Borisy-Rudin, JD, PhD
Policy Analyst

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