What Effect Will Alcohol Delivery Have on Alcohol Consumption in Mississippi?

On July 1st, a law legalizing the delivery of alcohol in the state of Mississippi went into effect. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged throughout the country, many states that had already legalized alcohol delivery saw a marked increase in delivery sales. With Mississippi legalizing alcohol delivery in what appears to be the tail end of the pandemic, it remains to be seen what effect this will have on alcohol use and public health in the Hospitality State.

MS Law on Alcohol Delivery

House Bill 1135, which was passed on April 14, allows stores that sell alcohol to apply for a license that will allow them to deliver wine, beer, or light spirits to a customer’s door. The delivery person is required to make sure the customer possesses a valid ID proving they are over 21 years old and that they are not visibly intoxicated before dropping off the booze.

Deliveries cannot be made more than 30 miles away or to dry counties or cities.

Alcohol Delivery and Alcohol Consumption

There are many possible pros and cons to alcohol delivery.

Proponents of allowing alcohol delivery argue that doing so will eliminate the incentive for some intoxicated people to drive to get alcohol, therefore reducing the number of drunk-driving incidents and traffic fatalities.

Opponents argue that increased access to alcohol will increase consumption and do little to reduce drunk-driving incidents, at the same time increasing other problems associated with drunkenness, such as domestic violence, underage drinking, injuries, and health problems brought on by chronic drinking.

Statistics are hard to come by that illuminate the effect the legalization of alcohol delivery has had on public health in other states.

We do know, however, that alcohol delivery sales soared during the pandemic; and while people drove less in general over 2020, traffic fatalities increased. The main contributors to these fatalities were inebriated driving, speeding, and not using a seatbelt.

Domestic violence is another serious concern that people have in regard to increased availability of alcohol. Statistics about domestic violence during the pandemic may not provide the whole story, however. Some localities reported a substantial rise in reported incidents, while others reported a sharp drop. Unfortunately, a decrease in reports likely does not mean a decrease in incidents, but may mean that victims did not feel safe reporting them. As the pandemic seems to be winding down, many experts expect to see a surge in cases.

It’s difficult to assign all the blame on the increased accessibility of alcohol over the past year, however; the economic toll, isolation, and stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic likely has had much to do with an increase in substance misuse and related problems. The current and subsequent years will ostensibly paint a more accurate picture on how alcohol delivery and the easing of other laws regarding when and how alcohol can be sold will have on public health.

Treatment for Alcohol Use Disorder

Alcohol use disorder (AUD) is a chronic medical condition that may require professional help to treat. Oxford Treatment Center in Mississippi offers multiple levels of care, enabling patients to detox safely and gain the necessary skills for long-term recovery.

If you or a loved one is struggling with addiction, it’s not too late to get help. Please reach out to an admissions navigator at .

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