Off-Campus Strategies

There are many ways in which college administrators, faculty, staff, and students can work with their surrounding communities and city and town officials to implement environmental strategies to reduce excessive alcohol use and related harms among college students. Such partnerships are widely recommended,10-12 and can help to build the kind of community-wide consensus needed for effective action.

Broadly, we have sorted policies for an Off-Campus strategy into three sections based on evidence of effectiveness: evidence-based, promising but little or mixed evidence of effectiveness, and ineffective if used in isolation.

Summary of OFF-CAMPUS Strategies


  • Regulate alcohol outlet density
  • Maintain limits on days and hours of sales
  • Maintain limits on privatization of alcohol sales
  • Minimum legal drinking age (MLDA)
  • Compliance check for alcohol outlets
  • Dram shop liability
  • Restrick price promotions, discounts, happy hour specials, etc.
  • Increase alcohol pricing through taxation
  • Multi-component interventions with community mobilization
    • .08 g/dL BAC laws
    • Zero tolerance laws
    • Graduated driver’s licensing (GDL)
    • Sobriety checkpoint programs
    • Ignition interlocks

Promising but Little or Mixed Evidence of Effectiveness

  • Regulate free alcohol, samplings, and tastings
  • Enforcement of laws prohibiting the possession and/or manufacturing of false IDs
  • Shoulder tapping campaigns
  • Responsible Beverage Service (RBS) programs
  • Minimum age of sellers
  • Social hosting laws and ordinances
  • Restrict adults from supplying alcohol to underage persons
  • Noise/nuisance conditions in landlord leases
  • Mass media campaigns to reduce drinking-driving

Ineffective If Used In Isolation

  • Mass media campaigns to educate potential drinkers about the risks of drinking
  • Designated driver programs
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