Conclusion

Service to intoxicated people and happy hour laws provide important vehicles for reducing the devastation caused by impaired driving traffic crashes and other alcohol-related problems. As reported here, the laws and the framework for enforcing the laws exist in most States, but inadequate resources and the lack of attention from policy makers, researchers, and funders have undermined the effective enforcement of these laws. Any cost savings resulting from the reduction of enforcement resources are minimal by comparison to the human suffering and increased law enforcement costs associated with alcohol-related harm. If even a small portion of the over 17,000 lost lives and quarter of a million injuries attributable to alcohol-related traffic crashes in 2003 was prevented by increased attention to reducing the over-consumption of alcohol, the benefit to society would be priceless.