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Study Links D.C. Violence to Bars, Liquor Stores

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Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Take a map of D.C. and put a pin in each spot where there’s been an aggravated assault or a case of domestic violence, and pretty soon you’ll recognize a pattern.

A recent study by the Urban Institute on the correlation between crime and alcohol shows that the two go hand-in-hand, specifically aggravated assaults and the number of bars in an area, and domestic violence and the number of liquor stores nearby.

On weekends, bars in downtown hot spots such as Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle and U Street fill up throughout the night and then all empty out at roughly the same time. The exodus of intoxicated people into the streets in the early-morning hours increases the likelihood of aggravated assaults, the study says.

On weekday nights, people are more likely to drop by a liquor store and drink in the comfort of their own home with their spouse, leading to more cases of domestic violence, according to the study.


Staggering when bars close and keeping raucous crowds to a minimum would help alleviate some of the crime, according to the study.

The study also suggested limiting the amount of alcohol people can purchase at a bar as another way to deter violence.

Police in the District can use the information to help combat crime in areas they know are potential hotbeds.

In Prince George’s County, police cracked down on 12 troublesome dance halls and in the past year crime in those areas has dropped.

WNEW’s Kevin Patrick contributed to this report. Follow him on Twitter.

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