Essay Contest

The Center for Alcohol Policy’s national essay contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of state alcohol regulation.

The 2016 essay contest addressed the question:

The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition and put control over alcohol regulation directly in the hands of the states. Though each state’s alcohol control policies are unique, they all include distinct regulations for different types of alcohol. Why are various types of alcohol regulated in different ways? Should they be?

Read the winning entries from the 2016 Annual Essay Contest:

Anna Brawley

Anna Brawley

1st Place: Anna Brawley, a senior associate at Agnew::Beck Consulting, is the winner of the Center for Alcohol Policy’s Ninth Annual Essay Contest. Brawley’s winning essay, “Deconstructing the Drink Menu: A History of Alcoholic Beverages and Proposed Policy Framework,” outlines what is and should be considered when developing sound alcohol beverage control policies.

“It remains true that distilled spirits, per ounce, are the most potent choice, and limiting access to these products relative to other, less-potent options is sound policy. It is equally true, however, that the goals of reducing over-consumption, preventing youth access, and reducing the harmful consequences of consumption can only be met through thoughtful regulation of all alcoholic beverages,” Brawley’s essay states.

Brawley concludes, “Legislation and policies with such broad reach and cumulative significance for the general public, business interests in the alcohol industry, local governments and enforcement professionals, and other impacted groups must be designed with minimal burden and therefore maximum chance of compliance. A policy framework differentiating between different types of alcohol should therefore meet the following criteria: to be rational, equitable and practical.”

Rebecca Strazds

Rebecca Strazds

2nd Place: Rebecca Strazds, a commercial banker specializing in beverage finance, was awarded second place for her essay, “Localities, Licenses, and Loopholes: An Analysis of Variances in Alcohol Regulation and their Continued Effectiveness in Modern Industry,” which explains the modern-day benefits of alcohol control policies in light of the issues leading up to Prohibition. Strazds’ essay concludes, “The evidence is clear: alcohol should continue to be regulated the way it is today, both with regards to localization and category discretion.”

 

David King

David King

3rd Place: David King, a law student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was awarded third place for his essay, “Going Deeper than a Proof Rating: A Case for Regulating Beverage Types Based on Social Impact.” King explains, “U.S. State regulators are in the best position to help curb excessive drinking, while avoiding the drawbacks of Prohibition … For alcohol regulations to be sensible and defendable from constitutional challenges, those regulations should reduce alcohol-related harms to society that are unique to each beverage type.”

For more information, please call (703) 519-3090.


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