2012 Essay Contest
Joseph H. L. Perez-Montes, an attorney from Pineville, Louisiana, is the winner of the Center for Alcohol Policy’s (CAP) Fifth Annual Essay Contest. The CAP national essay contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation. The topic of the 2012 contest was: “If a country were starting alcohol regulation from scratch, what regulatory framework would you advise it to create and why?”
Perez-Montes’ essay, “Twist the Cork, Pop the Top, and Bottoms Up: Selected Recommendations on Alcohol Regulation from Scratch,” examines the origins of the state-based alcohol regulatory framework that exists in the United States today, compares America’s alcohol regulatory policies to the regulations that exist in other countries and focuses on providing recommendations for minimum drinking age laws as well as civil “dram shop” and criminal liability statutes.
“Realistically, any framework governing the production, sale, and consumption of alcohol must be multi-faceted. No single regulatory approach could adequately address all of the positive or ill effects of alcohol consumption,” Perez-Montes’ essay states. “Sustained research on alcohol policy indicates that effective regulation should target numerous areas, including drunk driving policies, alcohol availability measures (such as licensing and minimum drinking age laws), alcohol marketing regulations, community-based prevention strategies, pricing and taxation regulations, and monitoring or surveillance activities.”
CAP Advisory Council member and Samford University Cumberland School of Law Professor Brannon Denning said, “In the United States, it’s important to look at the abuse of alcohol leading up to national Prohibition and the societal issues that arose during Prohibition in order to fully understand the state-based alcohol regulatory system put in place following passage of the 21st Amendment. This year’s essay contest gave citizens from across the country the opportunity to study our nation’s alcohol policies and to examine how other countries with different histories and cultures lack such an effective regulatory structure.”
Joseph Ojih, a professor at Baltimore City Community College in Maryland, was named the runner-up.
The winning entrants received prizes of $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.
This annual contest is open to all persons over the age of 18. Each year, students, academics, practicing attorneys, policymakers and members of the general public are encouraged to submit essays.
Read the winning essays from 2012:
1st Place: Joseph H. L. Perez-Montes
2nd Place: Joseph Ojih
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