Alcohol Impact Areas

The purpose of an Alcohol Impact Area is for local authorities to have a process to mitigate problems with chronic public inebriation or illegal activities linked to the sale or consumption of alcohol within a geographic area of their city, town or county, but not the entire jurisdiction. An Alcohol Impact Area is designated by geographical boundaries as defined in Washington Administrative Code Chapter 314-12-15.  

Starting an Alcohol Impact Area

A local jurisdiction must first attempt a voluntary Alcohol Impact Area asking stores selling high-alcohol content low-cost beers and wines to remove these products from their shelves.

Requesting a Mandatory Alcohol Impact Area

If the voluntary Alcohol Impact Area does not reduce problems in that area the local jurisdiction can petition the Liquor and Cannabis Board to request the Board adopt a resolution creating a state recognized the voluntary Alcohol impact Area as mandatory. The Board will also approve a banned product list for that Alcohol impact Area that can be modified or updated.

Once an Alcohol Impact Area is recognized by the WSLCB, conditions or restrictions may be applied, such as (WAC 314-12-215 (3):

  • Restricting the off-premises sale of certain alcohol products
    • Banned Product List
      The Board has adopted a standardized list of products that will be banned in AIAs. This list can be found here. Additional product bans may be requested if conditions are met.
  • Restricting the business hours of operation for off-premises consumption liquor sales
  • Restrictions on container sizes available for sale


For more detailed information About Alcohol Impact Areas, check out our Local Authority Handbook.


Alcohol Impact Area Rules - Washington Administrative Code Title 314, Chapter 314-12:

Chronic public inebriation and alcohol impact areas --Definitions -- Purpose

Alcohol impact areas - Definitions - Guidelines

General Alcohol Impact Area Review



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