Aims: The aim of this study was to examine recent research studies published from 2000 to 2008 focusing on availability of alcohol: hours and days of sale and density of alcohol outlets. Methods: Systematic review. Results: Forty-four studies on density of alcohol outlets and 15 studies on hours and days of sale were identified through a systematic literature search. The majority of studies reviewed found that alcohol outlet density and hours and days of sale had an impact on one or more of the three main outcome variables, such as overall alcohol consumption, drinking patterns and damage from alcohol. Conclusions: Restricting availability of alcohol is an effective measure to prevent alcohol-attributable harm.