Milwaukee skyline at dusk

Policies & Procedures for Alcohol Use in Wisconsin

Monitor and evaluate

Efforts to curb excessive alcohol use (underage, binge, heavy drinking and drinking by those who are pregnant), need to be monitored and evaluated on an ongoing basis. While no one policy in and of itself will be enough to change drinking patterns for any particular population, it is important to see how those efforts are working.

Alcohol use permeates much of our social life and no one measure captures all that is happening in a community. Important first steps include understanding where alcohol is served and sold, ensuring sellers are only selling to those of age and to those who are not already intoxicated, and making sure various ordinances are being enforced. As measurements identify potential problems and gaps in policy, a variety of actions can be taken to address these.

Important First Steps

The first step to evidence-based policy making is collecting data in order to understand what is happening at a population level. There are several effective ways communities can do this, such as through studying alcohol outlet density, conducting Place of Last Drink reviews, and helping law enforcement to conduct semi-annual Minimum Legal Drinking Age compliance checks. In addition, the DHS alcohol dashboard has easily accessible data on alcohol use and harms. Resources for local advocates to use in monitoring what is happening in their communities are provided here as well as excellent information from the CDC, SAMSHA and NIAAA and America’s Health Rankings.

If you have questions or need technical assistance or training in these areas, please contact the Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project (WisAPP). Check back here periodically as we plan to post new and helpful tools for you and your community as they become available.

Decision makers talking

Tools for Municipalities

Local elected officials have an important responsibility with the alcohol environment in their communities. However, local officials are not the only players on alcohol policies; state law can also change what happens at the local level and some of these changes can be challenging to decipher. The Wisconsin Alcohol Policy Project (WisAPP) regularly provides resources regarding many different laws and policies, whether new or changed state law, or ordinances enacted by communities that are working well and could be models for other communities.

SCAODA Report Resources

  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)