National Survey Finds Broad Support for Alcohol Regulations to Keep the Public Safe

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

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Americans want to keep in place state and local alcohol regulations to keep them safe, according to a new national poll conducted by a bipartisan team of pollsters, Whitman Insight Strategies and Wilson Research Strategies.  The survey shows that 77% of adults support “the rights of individual states to set their own laws and regulations” regarding the sale of alcohol.

“The survey results show that Americans overwhelmingly agree that alcohol is a unique product that requires effective regulation, and they support keeping decisions about alcohol at the state and local level,” 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.

Fellow CAP Advisory Council member Jerry Oliver – who has served as a state alcohol regulator and police chief in Pasadena, California; Richmond, Virginia; and Detroit, Michigan – added, “It’s particularly interesting that a majority of Americans – more than 80 percent – said that parents, police officers and retailers already have a tough time keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors.  Most Americans also said that getting rid of rules and regulations could make alcohol problems worse. It is something that law enforcement – the men and women in uniform in communities across this country – are very concerned about as they work to keep communities safe.”

The survey results show:

  • 77% support the right of individual states to set their own laws and regulations surrounding the sale of alcohol
  • 87% say it is easy for adults to find a wide variety of beer, wine and liquor
  • 84% believe that with the overwhelming majority of alcohol sold in the United States being manufactured by foreign-owned global corporations, it is more important than ever that states and localities maintain their ability to regulate alcohol
  • 87% believe that all alcohol sold in their state should come through a licensed system which effectively tracks the steps it takes from producer to the consumer
  • 83% believe state and local laws regarding alcohol regulations should be decided by lawmakers, not by judges
  • 71% believe that since alcohol is different than other consumer products, it needs a different set of rules and the state should be regulating this industry
  • 81% believe that parents, police officers and retailers already have a difficult challenge keeping alcohol out of the hands of minors; getting rid of alcohol rules, regulations and safeguards could make the problem worse

The national telephone survey of 1,000 adults was conducted on behalf of the Center for Alcohol Policy from March 17-21, 2011.  The margin of error is +/- 3.1%.  Click here to see the survey report.

Click here to see slides from a webinar presentation of the survey results.


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


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Center for Alcohol Policy
277 S. Washington Street Suite 500-A Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 519-3090