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Despite Changing Behaviors During Pandemic, America’s Attitude Remains the Same: The Alcohol Regulatory System Works and Americans Like It

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A new poll commissioned by the Center for Alcohol Policy on public sentiment toward alcohol regulation in the U.S. found that despite some changing behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, attitudes among adult Americans remain the same: the long-standing alcohol regulatory system in the U.S. works, and people like it.  Although many states have temporarily loosened some alcohol laws in response to the pandemic there is overwhelming consensus throughout the nation that alcohol is a product that needs to be regulated. In fact, a CAP survey record-high 85 percent of Americans are satisfied with the existing system for alcohol regulation in their respective states. 

Key findings from the Center’s survey show – as they have consistently in years past – that Americans want alcohol laws to prioritize public health and safety. The public strongly believes that alcohol-related problems are serious concerns, and that health and safety should be at the forefront when lawmakers consider any changes to alcohol regulations.

“Public satisfaction with responsible state alcohol regulation hit a CAP survey high this year. In spite of consumer shifts in behavior during the pandemic, most Americans still agree that alcohol is not like toilet paper or tin foil, and it needs to remain carefully regulated,” says Jim Hall, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Hall is also an Advisory Council member for the Center for Alcohol Policy. “This year’s poll clearly shows that across the board, Americans want to keep their communities safe and agree lawmakers should prioritize public health and safety when they consider making these changes to alcohol laws permanent.”

Top line findings from the survey include:

  • Support remains overwhelming for individual state regulation of alcohol 
  • Most Americans reject the notion that alcohol is just like other consumer products 
  • 80 percent of respondents show support for states regulating through a three-tier system, which has been consistent over the past decade of the Center’s polling 
  • 71 percent of Americans are satisfied with the alcohol regulations in their state  
  • A majority agree that states should evaluate the impact of COVID-19 inspired deregulations before making them permanent. 

Click here to read the key findings memo by New Bridge Strategy. The Center has also produced a more detailed report for your use that you can download here.

The survey was conducted by New Bridge Strategy among 1,002 adults ages 21 and older throughout the nation [1].  The interviews were conducted online and distributed proportionally throughout the U.S. and are demographically representative of this age group. The survey was the latest look at core attitudes on several facets of alcohol regulation that have been tracked for more than a decade.

1. The confidence interval associated with this sample is +/-3.5% at the 95% confidence level; with varying confidence for population subgroups within the sample.

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