10:00 PM PDT on Monday, September 12, 2011


San Bernardino Mayor Pat Morris urged retailers in the city to voluntarily stop selling single servings of beer, malt liquor and other alcoholic beverages, citing a new UC Riverside study that suggests a correlation between crime and neighborhoods where such drinks are sold.

Last year, the city banned single sales for new stores, only allowing sales of six-packs. The city is prevented by state law from imposing a similar ban on established stores but has taken steps to crack down on nuisance issues at those businesses, Morris said at a news conference Monday.

Businesses with repeated calls for panhandling, loitering, public drinking and other problems could have their business licenses revoked or have court orders imposed halting them from selling single-serve alcoholic beverages, the mayor said.

“We want responsible retailers,” he said.

Morris described the study as “concrete, empirical evidence to support our anti-crime efforts.”

The study by sociology professor Robert Nash Parker analyzed the amount of cooler space devoted to single cans and bottles at liquor stores in the city and compared it to the incidents of violent crime in that area.

Researchers found a higher rate of violence at stores that sold more alcohol and devoted more cooler space to single-serve alcoholic beverages, Parker said.

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