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.


 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 or follow the Center on Twitter at



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