Mayor considering alcohol crackdown in city

Mayor Bloomberg is asking community groups for ideas to improve public health which include reducing the sale of alcohol. (WABC)

January 11, 2012 2:37:43 PM PST
Is it the city's newest groundbreaking health initiative, or is the mayor about to serve up an anti-drinking agenda that already has some critics wondering, when it comes to mayoral crackdowns don't our cups already "runneth over"?

"I really characterize it as the nanny mentality out of control," said Michael Long, NY Conservative Party.

The head of the state's conservative party is highly critical of the city's latest request for ideas from community groups.

They are ideas to improve public health which include reducing the sale of alcohol and the density of some bars and liquor stores in certain neighborhoods.

In Bay Ridge some wonder, didn't we get rid harsh policies about alcohol a long time ago?

"Meddlesome, he's too much with everything, trying to take over everybody's lives, it seems," said Tom Hickey, a Bay Ridge resident.

"I feel if people are going to buy alcohol, they're going to buy alcohol either in their neighborhood or they are going to go another 10 blocks away," said Kathy Mongello, a Mill Basin resident.

But some experts say the mayor has statistics on his side.

For example, between 2003 and 2009, alcohol-related emergency room visits doubled for underage New Yorkers and alcohol is associated with 46% of homicides in the city.

ABC's Dr. Richard Besser is the former head of the CDC.

"So as a community you can say, we want to limit the number of liquor stores. Many places around the country do that, and it's been shown to be effective," Dr. Besser said.

The mayor's office released a statement saying, "We have no intention of shutting down bars or liquor stores. The goal is to generate creative ideas to build on bold initiatives including smoking cessation, reducing excessive drinking, promoting healthy eating and increasing physical activity."

"We kind of look to New York as the cutting edge, of these changes," Dr. Besser said.

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