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Federal and State Regulatory Issues Focus of Day Two of Sixth Annual Center for Alcohol Policy Law Symposium

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Sixth Annual Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP) Alcohol Law Symposium kicked off day two at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C., with a panel on antitrust developments in the alcohol industry, which noted the Obama Administration’s increased activity in the area of antitrust enforcement and the impact of the Department of Justice’s investigation into the AB-InBev merger with Modelo and ultimate settlement to approve the deal.

Sandeep Vaheesan, senior fellow at the American Antitrust Institute, spoke about the benefits of enforcing antitrust laws to ensure competitive markets and serve consumers’ interest in product quality, variety and price. Vaheesan noted that alcohol is not just any other commodity, like toothpaste or shoes, and there are also societal consequences that need to be addressed. Attorney David Balto highlighted the pro-competitive aspects of the independent three-tier alcohol distribution system in the United States saying, “Independent distribution is an important restraint to anti-competitive conduct.”

Former Arizona alcohol regulator and CAP Advisory Council member Jerry Oliver moderated a panel on federal and state alcohol regulatory issues. Steve Wing, associate administrator for alcohol policy at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, spoke about ongoing initiatives across federal agencies to research and reduce underage drinking, including efforts funded by the STOP Underage Drinking Act. Susan Evans, executive liaison for industry and state matters at the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), described the TTB’s revenue collection and consumer protection role and its responsibility over permits, labeling and formula approvals for the alcohol industry. She noted TTB’s need for adequate funding in light of an increased workload resulting from a booming alcohol industry with thousands of new businesses entering the market.

State alcohol regulators from Idaho, West Virginia and Wisconsin responded to national survey findings that the public is very satisfied with America’s current alcohol regulatory safeguards and overwhelmingly agree that enforcement is key to alcohol regulation. They emphasized the need for adequate resources for state enforcement efforts that support a safe and orderly alcohol market. Roger Johnson of Wisconsin Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement highlighted the value of the three-tier alcohol regulatory system in promoting a variety of products, assisting in tax collection and preventing problems with counterfeiting and overconsumption that plagues other countries like England. He warned against deregulatory efforts or changes to state laws that could have unintended consequences that undermine the excellent alcohol regulatory systems that exist today.

The symposium concluded with a presentation by Jack Marshall of ProEthics on the challenge of keeping pace with professional ethics in times of rapid change.

More details on speakers, education session topics and the symposium program can be found at www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org. Click here to read a summary from day one of the symposium, and read live updates from the event on Twitter using the hashtag #CAPLaw.

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c (3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation.  By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption.  For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

State Alcohol Regulation Focus on Day One of Center for Alcohol Policy Alcohol Law Symposium

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Sixth Annual Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP) Alcohol Law Symposium began today at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C., with a welcome by CAP Advisory Council member and former Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch who noted that the symposium is a key opportunity for a diverse group of state alcohol regulators, public health advocates, members of the alcohol beverage industry and others interested in alcohol policy issues to come together to learn and share ideas. Lynch also introduced a new video which explains the origin of America’s state-based regulatory system.

Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto delivered a keynote address on the role state attorneys general play in regulatory, law enforcement and public health functions. She discussed the state’s history of alcohol regulation since its vote to ratify the 21st Amendment and emphasized her office’s involvement in balancing support for local businesses that contribute to the economy while promoting alcohol’s safe and responsible use and engaging in educational outreach.

A panel moderated by Ashley Trim of Pepperdine University’s Davenport Institute addressed civic engagement and working with divergent views at the same policy table. Public health, alcohol regulatory and industry panelists addressed the question of who should make alcohol policy and how more stakeholders – such as religious groups, schools, health care professionals and law enforcement – can work together to achieve common public policy goals when alcohol policy decisions are considered.

Former National Transportation Safety Board Chair and CAP Advisory Council member Jim Hall introduced Barry Lynn, director of the Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative at the New America Foundation, by noting that regulation of the alcohol industry, like the airline industry, can benefit consumers and enhance public safety. Lynn spoke about America’s increased globalization and the potential threat to American jobs by the continued monetization of basic Main Street businesses. He highlighted that the existence of an independent middle tier and state-based regulation in the U.S. alcohol industry is good for both the consumer but also the fabric of local communities.

CAP Advisory Council member and Cumberland School of Law professor Brannon Denning moderated a legal panel featuring Dan Schweitzer, Supreme Court counsel for the National Association of Attorneys General; Lisa Soronen, executive director of the State and Local Legal Center; and Edward Dawson, teaching fellow and assistant professor at Louisiana State University. The panelists updated attendees on states’ rights cases currently before the Supreme Court and the potential impact for future alcohol cases involving issues of preemption, equal protection and the 21st Amendment.

Attendees also heard an update on the latest drunk driving issues from MADD Chief Government Affairs Officer J.T. Griffin and the Honorable James Dehn, Judge of District Court in Isanti County, Minnesota, who described innovative efforts to reduce drunk driving and build partnerships to engage entire communities in addressing the problem.

A tutorial on trade practices offered insights from federal alcohol regulator Robert Angelo, director of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau Trade Investigations Unit, and state alcohol regulator Craig Miller, senior officer with the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, on examples of possible violations of the tied house laws that prevent control of retailers and support access to market and consumer choice.

The final panel focused on the consequences of alcohol deregulation in the United Kingdom and lessons for the United States. Pam Erickson, president and CEO of Public Action Management PLC and former executive director of Oregon Liquor Control, contrasted the balanced approach of the U.S. regulatory system with the U.K., which deregulated alcohol over several decades so it is now sold almost anywhere 24 hours per day, is aggressively promoted and sold below-cost at supermarkets. As a result, she said, the U.K. is facing an alcohol epidemic characterized by increased rates of underage drinking and alcohol-related hospital admissions. Jim Cooper, board member of the Washington Association for Substance Abuse and Violence Prevention, outlined the negative impacts of recent deregulatory efforts in Washington state while Bill Kerr, senior scientist of the Alcohol Research Group, described research showing the public health problems that result from treating alcohol like a commodity and increasing its availability. Gabriel Romanus, former president/CEO of Swedish Alcohol Retailing Monopoly and former member of the Swedish Parliament, also offered an international example of alcohol regulations at work in Nordic countries that were challenged upon joining the European Union.

The Sixth Annual CAP Alcohol Law Symposium continues Friday, October 25 at The Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C. Additional details regarding the symposium program can be found at www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org.

For live updates from the event, follow @AlcoholPolicy on Twitter using the hashtag #CAPLaw.

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 The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501c(3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation. By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption. For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

Center for Alcohol Policy Honors Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award Recipients

Illinois, Virginia Regulators Recognized for Efforts to Enforce State Alcohol Laws and Promote Public Safety

leadership-awardWASHINGTON, D.C. – The Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP) is pleased to announce that Gloria L. Materre, executive director of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, and J. Neal Insley, chairman and commissioner of the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC), are the recipients of the inaugural Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award. The award, which recognizes the work of alcohol regulators who oversee the alcohol industry and promote public safety, was presented today by CAP Advisory Council member and former Arizona alcohol regulator Jerry Oliver at the Sixth Annual Alcohol Law Symposium held at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, D.C.

“The Center for Alcohol Policy understands that alcohol regulators are the front lines of many great initiatives in the states aimed at keeping the alcohol industry properly regulated, promoting public health and safety and supporting a healthy business marketplace,” Oliver said. “This award highlights effective best practices that may serve as examples to alcohol regulators in other states.”

“Under Ms. Materre’s leadership, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission has vastly improved its customer service to the thousands of liquor license holders across the state, while ensuring compliance and licensing regulations are upheld and enforced,” Oliver said. “She also has worked with the legislature and has been a strong advocate for laws that help prevent underage drinking and a law that ensures a clear separation of the tiers in the independent three-tier distribution system in Illinois.”

“With strong leadership and a willingness to go out and meet with all of the community stakeholders in the alcohol industry, including the public health community, Ms. Materre is a very deserving recipient of this recognition,” Oliver added.

“J. Neal Insley was appointed to his current position with the Virginia ABC in 2010 when he immediately began focusing on a ‘progressive control’ model of leadership, which strived to balance growth in business and state revenue while positively impacting the health and public safety of Virginia communities. Under his leadership, numerous illegal alcohol operations – those creating ‘moonshine’ – have been stopped, which has helped state revenues and public health. In addition, Chairman Insley initiated and oversaw the first comprehensive review of ABC regulations since the mid-1990s. The review updated the provisions by removing many obsolete references and consequently made the regulations more pertinent and relevant to today’s marketplace.”

Oliver added, “In July 2012, Chairman Insley assumed the role of Chairman of the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, taking the leadership he’d shown in Virginia to a national level. From operational improvements to industry collaboration, to a focus on education and prevention, Chairman Insley has demonstrated leadership and excellence in his role as an alcohol regulator.”

Click here to download a photo of Gloria L. Materre. Download a photo of J. Neal Insley here. For more information, please call (703) 519-3090 or email info@centerforalcoholpolicy.org.

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 The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c (3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation.  By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption.  For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

 

National Survey Finds Americans Very Satisfied with Current Alcohol Laws and Regulations

Center for Alcohol Policy Releases Survey Results on Public Attitudes on Alcohol Policy

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Americans are very satisfied with their alcohol variety, access and regulation according to a new bipartisan national poll commissioned by the Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP). Whether or not they choose to consume alcohol, Americans support the alcohol regulatory system currently in place in the United States.

“Americans overwhelmingly agree that alcohol is a unique product that needs to be regulated differently than other consumer products, and they also believe that today’s system of alcohol regulation works to protect communities while supplying consumers with great variety,” said Patrick Lynch, former Rhode Island Attorney General, former president of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) and current member of the CAP Advisory Council. “This national survey also shows that people think it’s important that decisions about alcohol are made at the local level by people who know the community.”

Key findings include:

Americans are very happy with the variety of alcohol options currently available to them and many are actively taking advantage of new brands every year. 

  • 76% of adults are satisfied with the variety of alcoholic products that are available to them.
  • 86% agree that it is easy to find a wide variety of beer, wine and liquor in their community.
  • 67% agree that the current system of distributing alcoholic products has done a good job of making sure that local products from different states and regions are available all around the country.
  • 75% of adults want to be notified if a new store that will sell alcoholic beverages could open in their community.

The current distribution system is recognized as the driving force behind the availability of new products and the economic benefits an industry expansion brings to communities.

  • 75% agree that it is important to have state laws supporting the availability of new alcohol products and the independence of distributors and retailers in order to provide consumers with choice and variety in the marketplace.

Additionally, Americans do not think alcohol is just like other consumer products, and they support state regulations on alcohol that are not found on other consumer goods. 

  • 81% believe states should regulate alcohol because it is different from other consumer goods.
  • 89% agree that government regulation is necessary to keep people safe, in some instances.
  • 82% support the current legal drinking age of 21 or older.

Americans also believe that local businesses that understand the local community should manage local alcohol distribution and sales. 

  • 79% support the rights of states to determine their own laws and regulations regarding the sale of alcohol.
  • 73% believe that local businesses should be in charge of alcohol distribution in their community since they better understand the preferences of the community.

The national telephone survey of 1,000 adults over the age of 21 was conducted by a bipartisan team of pollsters, Whitman Insight Strategies and WPA Opinion Research, on behalf of the Center for Alcohol Policy from August 12-14, 2013.

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 The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c (3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation.  By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption.  For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

 

New Speakers Added for Sixth Annual Alcohol Law Symposium

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP) Sixth Annual Alcohol Law Symposium to be held October 23-25, 2013, at the Grand Hyatt Washington in Washington, D.C., will feature educational sessions led by a wide range of experts in the field of alcohol law – including attorneys, current and former alcohol regulators, academic thought leaders, public health advocates and others.

The scheduled sessions will focus on current alcohol laws and challenges, including discussions on ethics, the 21st Amendment, drunk driving issues, antitrust developments, trade practices and a roundup of alcohol regulatory issues by state and federal regulators.

In addition to keynote remarks by Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, presenters at this year’s Symposium will include:

  • Robert Angelo, Director, TTB Trade Investigations Division
  • David Balto, Law Offices of David A. Balto          
  • Anoop Bhasin, General Counsel, West Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Administration
  • Edward Dawson, Teaching Fellow and Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University
  • The Honorable James Dehn, Judge of District Court, Isanti County
  • Brannon Denning, Professor, Samford University Cumberland School of Law
  • Pamela Erickson, Public Action Management
  • JT Griffin, National Policy Director, MADD
  • James Hall, Former Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board
  • Roger Johnson, Wisconsin Alcohol & Tobacco Enforcement
  • Bill Kerr, Senior Scientist, Alcohol Research Group
  • Patrick Lynch, Former Attorney General of Rhode Island and President, Patrick Lynch Group
  • Barry Lynn, Director of Markets, Enterprise and Resiliency Initiative, New America Foundation
  • John Maisch, Former General Counsel, Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission; Assistant Professor, University of Central Oklahoma
  • Jack Marshall, ProEthics
  • Sarah Mart, Director of Research, Alcohol Justice
  • Theresa McCarthy, Assistant Administrator for Headquarters Operations, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau
  • Craig Miller, Sr. Officer, Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control
  • Spencer Nevins, Vice President, Public Affairs and Counsel, Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association
  • Jerry Oliver, Former Chief of Police for Detroit, Richmond and Pasadena and Arizona Alcohol Regulator
  • Paul Pisano, Sr. Vice President and General Counsel, National Beer Wholesalers Association
  • Dan Schweitzer, Supreme Court Counsel, National Association of Attorneys General
  • Michele Simon, President, Eat Drink Politics
  • Lisa Soronen, Executive Director, State and Local Legal Center.
  • Ashley Trim, Research Coordinator, Davenport Institute, Pepperdine University
  • Sandeep Vaheesan, Special Counsel, American Antitrust Institute
  • Lt. Russell Wheatley, Chief, Idaho State Police Alcohol Beverage Control Bureau
  • Stephen Wing, Acting Director, SAMHSA Office of Policy, Planning and Innovation

To register online, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org/law-symposium. Government and non-profit employees receive special discounted registration rates. Early bird registration rates are available through October 11. The Center for Alcohol Policy’s room block at the Grand Hyatt Washington has expired. However, the Hyatt will continue to accept reservations at the group rate of $289 and government per diem rate of $219 (valid government ID required) based on availability. For reservations, book online or call (888) 421-1442 and indicate that you are attending the Center for Alcohol Policy Law Symposium.

The CAP works with state continuing legal education (CLE) boards to provide attending attorneys with CLE credits. In 2012, every attendee was able to secure CLE credits, and more than 40 states approved CLE accreditation to participants of the Alcohol Law Symposium.

For more details about the 2013 CAP Alcohol Law Symposium, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or email info@centerforalcoholpolicy.org.

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501 c (3) organization whose mission is to educate policy makers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and regulation.  By conducting sound and scientific-based research and implementing initiatives that will maintain the appropriate state-based regulation of alcohol, the Center promotes safe and responsible consumption, fights underage drinking and drunk driving and informs key entities about the effects of alcohol consumption.  For more information, visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.


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Center for Alcohol Policy
1101 King Street Ste 600-A Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 519-3090 info@centerforalcoholpolicy.org