Alcohol Impact Area Information and Updates

The Alcohol Impact Area (AIA) rules were written in 1999 to create a framework for communities, the Liquor Control Board and the alcohol industry to work together to mitigate communities' problems with chronic public inebriation or illegal activities linked to the sale or consumption of alcohol.

The rules allow the Liquor Control Board to recognize a geographic area within a city or town as an AIA. This designation means:

  • Local jurisdictions are given more time to review liquor license applications and renewals for businesses inside and AIA.
  • The local jurisdiction may also request that the Liquor Control Board restrict grocery and convenience stores in an AIA from selling certain types of beers and wines that are linked to local chronic public inebriation problems (such as high alcohol content, low-cost products), or restrict the hours that retailers can sell to-go.

Seattle's first AIA was designated in Pioneer Square by Resolution effective September 15, 2003. The restrictions included no off-premises sales between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m.; no off-premises sales of beer products by the single can or bottle; and all flavors and container sizes of six specific wine products.

Community members in other areas of the city were concerned with public safety and their quality of life being threatened by the negative impacts of chronic public inebriation, which was the impetus for adding AIA restrictions to other areas. After unsuccessful attempts for retailers to voluntarily restrict the sale of beer and wine products and adhere to Good Neighbor Agreements, the City of Seattle requested additional AIAs.

The WSLCB approved the Central Core and North AIAs, which became effective November 1, 2006 by Resolution. The two new AIAs restricted off-premises sales of a specific list of beer and wine products.

The City made plans to evaluate the effects of the AIA restrictions on chronic public inebriation twelve and eighteen months after the AIAs were imposed. The first report was submitted March, 2008. The second report was submitted June, 2008. The findings of the two reports differed due the method of reporting. The March report focused on the twelve months after the restrictions were imposed; whereas, the June report compared two points in time: eighteen months prior to the AIA and eighteen months post AIA becoming effective. The findings of the June report showed positive progress toward decreasing the impacts of chronic public inebriation in the three AIAs. The progress was due, in part, to the restrictions from the AIAs and partly due to the regional health and human services strategies implemented.

In a letter, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske, requested eight products to be added to the banned products list in June, 2008. The WSLCB received the request and planned to approve six of the eight products requested. City staff in partnership with community members gathered testimony to strengthen the request for the addition of the eight products. One more product, which was initially overlooked, was added to the banned list request and the WSLCB approved adding nine products to the banned list, which became effective March 1, 2009.



Resolution of the Washington State Liquor Control Board July 23, 2003 & August 30, 2006
Map of AIA North
Map of AIA Central Core
City Ordinance 121487
March 2008 Report
June 2008 Report
June Report PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)
June 20, 2008 Request Letter (From the Chief)
November 26, 2008 Request Letter (from the Chief)
Banned List Effective 3/1/09
AIA Report: 2012-2017
AIA Report: 2018-2022


Jenifer Chao, Director
Address: 600 4th Avenue, 4th Floor, Seattle, WA , 98104
Mailing Address: PO Box 94649, Seattle, WA, 98124-4649
Phone: (206) 684-0464
Fax: (206) 233-5142

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