Alcohol Policy Forum Examines Benefits of Current Alcohol Regulations

April 17th 2017, 4:57pm

New Video Highlights Policy Discussion Including Wide Range of Experts

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Center for Alcohol Policy has unveiled a new video highlighting discussion and debate during the Pennsylvania Alcohol Policy Forum, held on March 22. The event, which took place in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, brought together more than 70 alcohol regulators, state lawmakers, legislative staff, public health representatives and industry members.

Panel discussions focused on how alcohol regulations work to foster public health and safety as well as why a level playing field is essential for an orderly and competitive marketplace. The current economic impact of the alcohol industry on the commonwealth of Pennsylvania also was addressed, as well as the history of the commonwealth’s alcohol control policies.

“I think that education is the key… to maintaining the integrity of the alcoholic beverage industry in America going forward,” said Jessica Starns, former executive counsel for the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and alcohol law attorney. Starns served as a panelist at the Pennsylvania Alcohol Policy Forum in the session, “Threats to State-based Alcohol Regulation.”

Starns also discussed her new report, “The Dangers of Common Ownership in an Uncommon Industry: Alcohol Policy in America and the Timeless Relevance of Tied-House Restrictions,” which examines the history and purpose of tied-house prohibitions found in federal and state alcohol laws. Additionally, the report explains how these prohibitions are as relevant today as when enacted following the repeal of Prohibition.

Neal Insley, senior vice president and general counsel at the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, spoke on a panel that explored the rationale for the industry’s modern-day system of state-based alcohol regulation, focusing on Pennsylvania’s control model and three-tier system. The history of alcohol control policies and the public health and economic benefits seen today in the commonwealth also were discussed.

“Now, I have a challenge for you,” Insley said to the audience. “Next time you go shopping, try to find a craft candy bar or craft soda – you just won’t find them. Now, try to find a craft alcohol beverage, and I bet you will have much more success. That is because of the unique alcohol regulatory laws’ ability to foster competition and support a level playing field.”

A panel discussing trade practice regulations delved into the purpose and benefits of the regulations and detailed those present in the commonwealth. Threats to state-based alcohol regulation also were discussed at the forum by looking at recent developments, legal questions and the possible economic impacts of changing the current regulatory system.

The Center for Alcohol Policy regularly hosts conferences that bring together a wide range of experts in the field of alcohol law. The Center will host its 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference September 6 – 8, 2017, in Chicago. Each year, the event includes attorneys, alcohol regulators, academic leaders, public health advocates and other experts who discuss and debate current alcohol laws and challenges. Additional details are available on the Center’s website.

 

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501c(3) organization whose mission is to educate policymakers, 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 Marks Alcohol Awareness Month

March 31st 2017, 1:48pm

ALEXANDRIA, VA – This April, the Center for Alcohol Policy joins organizations across the country in recognizing Alcohol Awareness Month, a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of the problems that alcohol abuse can cause for individuals, their families and their communities.

“Alcohol Awareness Month is a great opportunity to educate policymakers, regulators and the public about alcohol, its uniqueness and its regulation – which aligns perfectly with the mission of the Center for Alcohol Policy,” said Jim Hall, former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and current member of the Center’s Advisory Council.

“The 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which repealed Prohibition in 1933 and established today’s system of state-based alcohol regulation, notes that alcohol is ‘intoxicating,’” Hall continued. “As such, the Center’s educational activities and research efforts are focused on the regulated system that enforces the responsible manufacture, distribution and sale of alcohol beverages to adults of legal drinking age, while also highlighting the challenges presented by alcohol abuse.”

The most recent report released by the Center for Alcohol Policy examines the history and purpose of tied-house prohibitions found in federal and state alcohol laws and explains how these prohibitions are as relevant today as when enacted following the repeal of Prohibition. The report, “The Dangers of Common Ownership in an Uncommon Industry: Alcohol Policy in America and the Timeless Relevance of Tied-House Restrictions,” was authored by former executive counsel for the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and alcohol law attorney Jessica C. Starns.

The report explores the history of tied-house laws and the abuses of pre-Prohibition alcohol commerce that served as the catalyst for their adoption, as well as the orderly and competitive marketplace they helped create post-Prohibition. The report also investigates the marketplace dynamics that make these laws as essential today as they were in 1933. Tied-house prohibitions are laws and regulations that prevent a licensee in one tier of the alcohol beverage industry from having common ownership or financial ties to a licensee in another tier. (Suppliers and brewers are first-tier participants; distributors are second-tier participants; and retailers are third-tier participants in the three-tier system.) These measures, designed to prevent vertical integration in the alcohol beverage industry, are further supported by trade practice regulations that seek to limit other forms of influence that licensees of one tier can exert over licensees of another tier. These laws vary from state to state, as well as between the state and federal levels.

The report illustrates the conflict between the marketplace and public health issues America faced with alcohol pre-Prohibition, how alcohol control policies were formed by the states following Prohibition, and how the current alcohol regulatory system has worked to maintain a vibrant alcohol marketplace while at the same time addressing public health concerns.

Among the Center’s ongoing programs that highlight alcohol’s unique attributes and the need for its effective regulation is an annual alcohol law and policy conference. This brings together a wide range of experts in the field of alcohol law – including attorneys, current and former alcohol regulators, state legislators, academic thought leaders, public health advocates and other experts – to discuss and debate current alcohol laws and challenges. The Center’s 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference will be held September 6 – 8, 2017, in Chicago, Illinois.

During the Center’s alcohol law and policy conference, the Fifth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award will be presented. The award recognizes the work of alcohol regulators who oversee the alcohol industry and promote public safety. Nominations will be accepted until July 21, 2017.

Visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org to learn more about the Center’s programs and initiatives.

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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 Report: Alcohol Industry Regulations Prevent Vertical Integration, Foster Competition and Protect Public Health

March 8th 2017, 12:20pm

ALEXANDRIA, VA – A new report released by the Center for Alcohol Policy examines the history and purpose of tied-house prohibitions found in federal and state alcohol laws and explains how these prohibitions are as relevant today as when enacted following the repeal of Prohibition. The report, “The Dangers of Common Ownership in an Uncommon Industry: Alcohol Policy in America and the Timeless Relevance of Tied-House Restrictions,” was authored by former executive counsel for the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and alcohol law attorney Jessica C. Starns.

The report explores the history of tied-house laws and the abuses of pre-Prohibition alcohol commerce that served as the catalyst for their adoption, as well as the orderly and competitive marketplace they helped create post-Prohibition. The report also investigates the marketplace dynamics that make these laws as essential today as they were in 1933. Starns explains that recent alcohol policy debates have “disregarded the facts that the centuries old problems related to alcoholic beverages have not dissipated, and the well settled goal of the business firm to maximize profits remains key.”

Patrick Lynch, Center for Alcohol Policy advisor and former Rhode Island attorney general, said, “This report on the dangers of common ownership serves as an important reminder of the need for these laws and will be a valuable resource for those faced with questions about or challenges to tied-house and trade practice policies. These laws have a timeless relevance that is well documented in the Starns report.”

Tied-house prohibitions are laws and regulations that prevent a licensee in one tier of the alcohol beverage industry from having common ownership or financial ties to a licensee in another tier. (Suppliers and brewers are first-tier participants; distributors are second-tier participants; and retailers are third-tier participants in the three-tier system.) These measures, designed to prevent vertical integration in the alcohol beverage industry, are further supported by trade practice regulations that seek to limit other forms of influence that licensees of one tier can exert over licensees of another tier. These laws vary from state to state, as well as between the state and federal levels.

The report illustrates the conflict between the marketplace and public health issues America faced with alcohol pre-Prohibition, how alcohol control policies were formed by the states following Prohibition, and how the current alcohol regulatory system has worked to maintain a vibrant alcohol marketplace while at the same time addressing public health concerns. Starns explains, “The alcoholic beverage control system and its emphasis on restricting vertical integration within the industry is more relevant today than ever before and critical to ensuring the continuation of a healthy and prosperous marketplace while thwarting a recurrence of the conditions that once led to Prohibition.”

The report concludes, “Because of the trade-practice regulations: large, powerful corporations are not able to dominate the marketplace; consumers have a wide array of products to choose from; large and small suppliers are equally able to get their products to the market; retailers are free to determine what products they will stock and how they will place them and small retailers can compete with their larger counterparts; and, the states can mitigate the public health and safety dangers that afflicted the pre-Prohibition saloon by preventing communities from being inundated with cheap alcohol.”

The report was funded by a grant from the Center for Alcohol Policy and will be distributed to policymakers and alcohol regulators throughout the United States. The report also is available on the Center’s website.

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The Center for Alcohol Policy is a 501c(3) organization whose mission is to educate policymakers, 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.

Nominations Open for Fifth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award

March 6th 2017, 1:24pm

Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award Logo

ALEXANDRIA, VA

The Center for Alcohol Policy is now accepting nominations for the Fifth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award to be presented at the Center’s 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference, September 6 – 8 at the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile in Chicago, Illinois.

The award recognizes the work of alcohol regulators who oversee the alcohol industry and promote public safety. Any governmental agency or its employees working to promote and enforce alcohol laws and regulations are eligible for the award. A specific program that has achieved positive results or an individual within an agency going above and beyond the call of duty are examples of potential nominees.

“The Center for Alcohol Policy appreciates that alcohol regulators are on the front lines of many initiatives in the states aimed at keeping the alcohol industry properly regulated, promoting public health and safety and supporting a competitive business marketplace,” said Jerry Oliver, a Center Advisory Council member who has served as alcohol regulator in Arizona and as police chief in Pasadena, Richmond and Detroit. “This award highlights effective best practices that may serve as examples to alcohol regulators in other states.”

Nominations should provide information on how the nominee serves as an example to others in alcohol regulation. Consideration will be given to how the actions of this nominee are helpful to other agencies or employees, achieve desired results and engage or impact a broad coalition of stakeholders. Self-nominations are permitted, and letters of support are encouraged.

HOW TO NOMINATE: Nomination forms may be emailed to awards@centerforalcoholpolicy.org or mailed to: Center for Alcohol Policy, Attn: Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award; 1101 King St., Suite 600-A; Alexandria, VA 22314.

DEADLINE: The deadline for nominations is July 21, 2017, 5:30 p.m. EDT. Nominations postmarked/emailed after this deadline will not be considered.

AWARD: The Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award recipient will be honored during the Center’s 10th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference in Chicago, Illinois. The award recipient also may be eligible to receive complimentary registration and a speaking opportunity at a future Alcohol Law and Policy Conference.

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.

Essay on Sound Alcohol Beverage Control Policies Wins First Place in Center for Alcohol Policy’s Ninth Annual Essay Contest

February 28th 2017, 10:54am

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy is pleased to announce that Anna Brawley, a senior associate at Agnew::Beck Consulting, is the winner of its Ninth Annual Essay Contest. The 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?

Center for Alcohol Policy Advisory Council member and Samford University Cumberland School of Law Professor Brannon Denning said, “We can learn a lot from our nation’s history with alcohol, especially looking at the societal problems that led to national Prohibition and the public policy initiatives that were put in place following the passage of the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition and began today’s system of state-based alcohol regulation.”

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 overconsumption, 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, 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.”

The winning entrants received prizes of $2,500, $1,250 and $500 respectively.

To read the winning essays, please visit www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org/essay-contest.

Photo Downloads:

Anna Brawley – First Place

Rebecca Strazds – Second Place

David King – Third Place

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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