The Alcohol Policy Panel (APP) was formed in 1995 when a well-respected group of community leaders from throughout San Diego County came together and proposed a menu of policies designed to reduce underage and binge drinking. Today, the APP is made up of a General Assembly, comprised of community members, law enforcement, prevention providers, and County agency representatives and sector leaders who serve as the group’s leadership arm to identify priorities, set goals and guide the implementation of the San Diego County Binge and Underage Drinking Initiative. The group meets quarterly and are informed of the latest research and policy efforts related to alcohol. They are actively engaged in advocating for change in San Diego County’s health and safety through environmental prevention strategies including media advocacy, policy development, community organizing, working with enforcement officials, and applied data collection and research.

The Policy Panel sector leaders are kept informed by a group of locally and nationally recognized expert advisors and is facilitated by the Institute for Public Strategies, a nonprofit organization that specializes in policy-based environmental prevention strategies.


Healthier Beaches and Parks

  • Hard alcohol restrictions in place in all 90 San Diego County parks.
  • All but one San Diego County beach is now alcohol-free.

Improved Retail Alcohol Environment

  • Responsible Beverage Sales and Service (RBSS) ordinances adopted in more than 10 municipalities, all yielding decreases in Place of Last Drink Survey data.
  • More bartenders and servers trained in RBSS practices in San Diego County than any other county in California by 50 percent.
  • Advocated to prevent local permits that would have allowed movie theaters to sell alcohol in multiple municipalities.
  • Successfully advocated to prevent a local permit that would have allowed alcohol to be serve at a go-cart racing track.
  • Successfully advocated with other statewide groups to prevent state legislation that would have paved the way for bars to close at 4 a.m. in the 2017, 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions.

Protecting Youth

  • Social Host Ordinances in place in all San Diego cities and the unincorporated areas of the county.
  • Successfully advocated for state legislation that prohibits the sale of powdered alcohol in California.
  • Successfully advocated for state legislation that reclassified alcopops as distilled spirits and changed the taxation from 20 cents per gallon to $3.30 per gallon.
  • Billboard ordinances established in multiple San Diego cities to restrict outdoor promotion of alcohol products near youth-frequented areas.
  • San Diego County Law Enforcement Task Force on Alcohol and DUI established in 1999 to engage all San Diego County law enforcement agencies in conducting high-visibility, multi-jurisdictional operations to reduce underage and binge drinking.