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Center Holds 12th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference with Record Breaking Attendance

A Message from the Center’s Executive Director

The Boston Red Sox weren’t in town August 25-27, but the city experienced a few home runs anyway. The Center for Alcohol Policy’s 12 Annual Law and Policy Conference (ALPC) was in town with record attendance and a number of highly rated sessions on topics ranging from the impact of the recent Supreme Court Decision nullifying Tennessee’s residency requirements for retail liquor store licenses to the movement of banning the use of alcohol products containing more than 15% ABV at college fraternities and sororities. 

The ALPC brings together a wide range of stakeholders in the alcohol policy arena to learn about and discuss trending issues and network with regulators, lawmakers, public health advocates, industry representatives from all three tiers. This year set a record in attendance with 160 registrants from 34 states and feedback received from attendees was off the charts.

MA Attorney General Maura Healey was the conference keynote speaker at Monday’s lunch and hit it out of the park with a sincere appeal to all alcohol policy stakeholders to continue the work of supporting responsible alcohol regulation in our communities. As a former basketball point guard at the NCAA Division I level, she stressed the importance of teamwork and praised the Center for bringing together regulators, lawmakers, public health advocates and industry representatives as a team to combat problems associated with alcohol abuse.

ALPC attendees also heard from pollster Lori Weigel of New Bridge Strategy on the results of the Center’s national public opinion survey on alcohol regulation which found strong, continuing support for state based alcohol regulation and the three tier system.

The impact of alcohol regulation on public health and safety was an important theme running through several of the panel discussions held during the conference.  This comes at a time when these public health and safety benefits of state-based alcohol regulation will be instrumental in defending these regulations going forward. As the distinguished panel of legal experts explained in reviewing the recent Supreme Court decision in TWSRA V Thomas, a law’s demonstrated impact on public health and safety will be an important factor in saving it from dormant commerce clause challenges. 

A panel of public health advocates presented case studies of where health and safety concerns were instrumental in defeating alcohol deregulation efforts; and other panels explored the challenges of “problem bars,” the positive impact of liquor law enforcement efforts in addressing a wide range of criminal activity including human trafficking and the continuing challenges of  illegal direct shipping and cross border sales of alcohol.

The 12th Annual ALPC was indeed a hit with so many alcohol regulation and public health professionals there to witness the value of the Center’s work. We trust that more will do the same in the years ahead!


Mike Lashbrook
Executive Director, Center for Alcohol Policy

The Center Co-hosts Arizona Alcohol Policy Forum Examining State-Based Alcohol Regulation, E-Commerce, Public Health and Safety

The Center held its 7th State Alcohol Policy Forum on Friday, September 6 in Scottsdale, Arizona in coordination with the Beverage Alcohol Community Information Council (BACIC)

Lester Jones, chief economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, kicked things off with a look at the economic impacts of the alcohol industry, its past, present and future, and specifically within the state of Arizona. Pam Erickson, a Center supported consultant and expert witness on alcohol regulation, presented on how to balance public safety and business needs through effective and responsible state alcohol regulations. 

Additional topics included internet sales, shipping and delivery of alcohol, and the challenges and opportunities that come along with eCommerce in the industry. Representatives from public safety advocacy organizations, industry groups and alcohol regulators discussed best practices for tackling public health issues involving alcohol, while the final panel session debated emerging public policy considerations for the legalization of marijuana, and how it may or may not look similar to historic alcohol regulation.

Lastly, The Honorable Mark Brnovich delivered a dynamic keynote presentation during the forum’s luncheon, where he elaborated on his experiences as Attorney General of Arizona and the benefits of state-based regulation of alcohol. You can view the full program and lineup here

The Center for Alcohol Policy regularly hosts state alcohol policy forums, along with its annual alcohol law and policy conference, that bring together a wide range of experts in the field of alcohol law. Arizona wrapped up the Center’s state forums for 2019, but the Center is excited to hold more throughout 2020. 

Kansas Alcohol Regulator Receives National Award at Center for Alcohol Policy Conference

Debbi Beavers, Director of the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control, receives Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award

The Center for Alcohol Policy is pleased to announce that Debbi Beavers, Director of the Kansas Alcoholic Beverage Control, is the recipient of the Seventh Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award.

The award, which recognizes a specific program, agency or person with the ability to regulate the alcohol industry and promote public health and safety, was presented by the Center’s Advisory Council at the 12th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference, in Boston, Mass.  

From left to right: Center for Alcohol Policy Advisory Council member Jerry Oliver; Director Debbi Beavers; Advisory Council members Brannon Denning, Jim Hall, and Patrick Lynch.

Director Beavers has served the State of Kansas for over 15 years and has always been known for her honest and thoughtful approach. The Center for Alcohol Policy chose Mrs. Beavers to receive this award because she has led with an appropriate focus on ensuring an orderly and fair marketplace and advocating for responsible policies that protect the well-being of all Kansans. 

Specifically, Mrs. Beavers was selected for leading the agency and the industry through the profound changes that have occurred in beverage alcohol regulations in Kansas over the last two years. Through dialogue with all segments of the industry, community and public health stakeholders, as well as education of alcohol licensees, she dynamically led this transition under the new laws.

“The Center works diligently to promote public health and safety through a responsible state-based alcohol regulatory system and strives to educate regulators on the importance of prioritizing public safety when enforcing state law,” said Center for Alcohol Policy Advisor Jerry Oliver. “The Center is proud to present its annual award to someone who shares those same values, day in and day out.”

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