Alcohol Policy Forum Examines Benefits of Current Alcohol Regulations

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.



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 or follow the Center on Twitter at


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