North Carolina Alcohol Policy Alliance

The North Carolina Alcohol Policy Alliance


A statewide grassroots network advocating for research-based alcohol policies that foster safe and healthy communities.


A North Carolina with no alcohol related disease, death, injury or crime.



Alcohol is the 3rd leading cause of life-style related death in the United States, resulting in approximately 80,000 alcohol-attributable deaths each year.  Chronic disease linked to alcohol includes pancreatitis, liver cirrhosis, hyper tension and numerous forms of cancer.  In fact, alcohol is the second leading cause of preventable cancer and is listed as a Group 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization.  Alcohol use by expectant mothers is the leading preventable cause of birth defects and developmental disabilities in children.  The Department of Justice estimates that the majority of all criminal offenders were under the influence of alcohol alone when they committed their crime.  Though its consequences are often wide spread and long lasting, alcohol use frequently starts at an alarmingly young age. Nationally, 1 in 5 youth begin drinking alcohol by age 12.  In North Carolina, 34% of high school students are drinking alcohol regularly and over 50% of those students binge drink.

Drinking during adolescence causes brain damage to the portions of the brain that govern reasoning, logic, memory and decision making.  Consequences of underage drinking include violence, traffic crashes, property damage, injury, and high-risk sex.  In the US, underage drinking resulted in 180,000 emergency room visits in 2010 for alcohol related injuries and conditions.  Moreover, the economic cost is staggering; underage drinking cost the citizens of North Carolina $1.5 billion in 2010.  

The aim of the North Carolina Alcohol Policy Alliance is to prevent underage drinking and excessive alcohol use.  This is achieved by changing the physical environment that creates extremely dangerous situations for youth and puts the health and safety of our communities at great risk.  The research is clear. The price, product, promotion and placement of alcohol must be addressed for sustained positive change.  The North Carolina Alcohol Policy Alliance works in conjunction with public health advocacy groups across the state to promote and support best practice laws and policies to prevent underage and excessive alcohol use.

But there is hope.  Youth who wait until they are 21 to start drinking are 5 times less likely to develop alcohol dependence than those who begin drinking at 15.  We must band together.  As a united force for the promotion of sound alcohol policy we will save lives, preserve futures and reduce disease in North Carolina.

North Carolina Infographic

ABC The Policy Implications