Sunday Liquor Sales and Minnesotans’ Health

By April 20, 2017
Associate Professor Toben Nelson

Associate Professor Toben Nelson

In July 2017, Minnesota liquor stores will be open on Sundays for the first time in nearly a century. While School of Public Health alcohol researcher Toben Nelson says the decision was largely consumer driven, there are also other issues to consider.

“A lot of the debate has focused on the commercial benefits to the consumers for increased accessibility to alcohol, the challenge is making sure public opinion is fully informed,” says Nelson. “The more available alcohol is the more likely it is to be consumed.”

And while Minnesota has seen significant decreases in DWI arrests and drunk driving fatalities — which Nelson credits to the state of Minnesota and Department of Public Safety’s efforts in publicizing enforcement efforts — but that doesn’t cover the full scope of the problem.

“The challenge here is that all of the focus really is on impaired driving, and not any of the other negative consequences when people drink too much, like fights and vandalism, even cancer.”