2019 Annual Essay Contest Topic Announced

July 17th 2019, 1:08pm

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy is now accepting entries for its 12th Annual National Essay Contest. The topic for this year’s contest is:

During the United States Supreme Court 2019 term, the Court announced in June its decision in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas. Based on the Court’s decision, what do you believe will be the next steps for alcohol policy in the United States?

“The Center’s national essay contest has gained considerable traction over the past decade, and we expect its influence to keep growing,” explains Branning Denning, Cumberland School of Law Professor and Center for Alcohol Policy Advisor. “As regulation of the alcohol industry is often misunderstood, this opportunity provides students and professionals with a chance to evaluate and research it, as well as bring attention to its complexities and successes.”
 
To Denning’s point, these essays have garnered exceptional success. Some have been republished in other publications; the 2011 winners presented their papers at the annual meeting of the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators; and the 2015 winning essay was cited to the United States Supreme Court in the same case that serves as the topic of this year’s contest.

WHO CAN ENTER: The contest is open to all persons who are over the age of 18 as of December 2019. Students, academics, practicing attorneys, policymakers, regulators and anyone with an interest in state-based alcohol regulation is invited to participate.  
 
HOW TO ENTER: Entries may be submitted here.
 
DEADLINE: The deadline for entries is Jan. 17, 2020. Winners will be announced soon after.
 
AWARDS: Cash prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners in the amounts of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 respectively.
 
Read additional essay guidelines here and view last year’s winning essays here.

Celebrating a Decade of Essays! Free E-book Collection Now Available.

May 20th 2019, 2:31pm

The Center for Alcohol Policy is celebrating 10 years of its annual essay contest that explores alcohol regulation in the 21st century.  Each year, students and professionals are encouraged to participate in this significant effort to bring attention to state alcohol regulation, its complexities and many successes.

The Center has comprised a collection of these essays written by the its previous 1st place recipients from 2008 – 2018, which you can download for free here!

No matter the alcohol regulatory efforts or challenges you may face , we hope that this collection of work will be a valuable resource for you. Several topics available to explore here include:

  • History and importance of the 21st Amendment
  • Recommendations on state-level regulation & policy proposals
  • Alcohol on college campuses
  • The three-tier system
  • Orderly alcohol markets
  • Redefining temperance
  • And more!

Help us celebrate the success of these exploratory essays and the influence they’ve had in the industry over the past decade. Download your free navigable copy today! 

National Poll Shows Support for State Regulation of Alcohol Bridges Partisan Gap

May 6th 2019, 10:31am

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A new poll commissioned by the Center for Alcohol Policy on public opinion toward alcohol regulation found that Americans continue to overwhelmingly support states maintaining the authority to regulate alcohol within their own borders.  Notably, this support is remarkably strong across political party lines despite the heightened political polarization of today.  85 percent of Republicans, 81 percent of Democrats and 83 percent of Independents express support for alcohol being regulated at the state level.

Key findings from the Center’s survey additionally show that American adults are in favor of a broad array of state-level alcohol regulations and the three-tier system, which separates the manufacture, distribution and sale of alcohol.  In particular, they are satisfied with the consumer choice fostered by the American system of alcohol distribution.  

Additional results indicate that Americans want lawmakers to prioritize public health and safety over convenience and price when weighing changes to alcohol regulations.

“Public support for responsible state alcohol regulation has remained consistently high over the last decade. Despite the many attacks within the industry on regulation and the independent distribution system, the vast majority of Americans remain supportive,” says Jim Hall, former Chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board and Center for Alcohol Policy Advisor.  “This steady support cuts across all demographic groups, even the red/blue divide, on nearly all these issues.  Americans clearly agree public health and safety are essential when considering changes to current law.”

Key findings from the survey include:

Americans continue to support state regulation of alcohol.

  • 86 percent of respondents agree that alcohol is a product that needs to be regulated.
  • 82 percent agree that alcohol is different that other products, and therefore should be regulated differently.
  • Support remains high for individual state regulation of alcohol (83 percent).
  • A wide majority support requiring license holders to be a resident of their respective state (77 percent).
  • 76 percent agree that alcohol sold should come through a licensed system for tracking.
  • 87 percent of respondents displayed a high confidence in the safety of alcohol products sold in their state.

Americans are satisfied with current alcohol regulations in their state.

  • 82 percent of Americans continue to be satisfied with the existing system for alcohol in their respective states.
  • Nearly 9 out of 10 Americans are satisfied with the variety of alcohol products available (87 percent).

The three-tier system is viewed very positively.

  • 75 percent of respondents show support for states regulating through a three-tier system, which has been consistent over the past decade, and 3 out of 4 agree that the system works well.

Americans want alcohol laws to prioritize safety.

  • Most Americans reject that alcohol is just like other consumer products.
  • Drunk driving is seen as the most serious alcohol-related problem.
  • Survey respondents want lawmakers address drunk driving first. 78 percent agree reducing drunk driving is a priority, followed by protecting health and public safety (70%) and reducing underage drinking (64 percent).
  • Given the nation’s priorities, it is not surprising that 85 percent of Americans support keeping the legal drinking age at 21 years old.

The survey was conducted by New Bridge Strategy among 1,000 adults ages 21 and older throughout the nation. The interviews were conducted online and distributed proportionally throughout the U.S. and are demographically representative of this age group. The confidence interval associated with this sample is +/-3.5% at the 95% confidence level; with varying confidence for population subgroups within the sample.    

National Poll Finds Strong Support for State Residency Laws Amid Pending Supreme Court Case Re: Alcohol Regulation

April 18th 2019, 4:33pm

ALEXANDRIA, Va. –  According to a  national survey commissioned every two years by the Center for Alcohol Policy, an overwhelming majority of the public supports requiring alcohol retailers to be a resident of their respective state. This is the first time that the Center has tested public support for residency requirements in order to obtain a license to sell alcohol and found that fully 77%of Americans favor these laws.

Additionally, the state residency requirement has overwhelming support across party lines, with 76% of Republicans, 75% of Democrats and 78% of independents in support. Support also exceeds two-thirds in every region of the country and with every demographic sub-group examined. 

These data points emerge at an active time for alcohol regulation given that the United States Supreme Court is currently reviewing a Tennessee state alcohol law relating to durational residency requirements. In Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas the Court is considering whether a state law to regulate liquor sales by granting licenses only to those that have met state residency requirements violates the dormant Commerce Clause. The petitioners in support of the Tennessee Retailers argue that the 21st Amendment gives states the complete authority to regulate the sale of alcohol within their borders. 

It is noteworthy that not only does the general public support residency requirements, but significant members of the alcohol law community and industry do as well. Amicus briefs from 14 different organizations and groups were submitted to the Court in support of the Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association, most notably a brief filed by a bipartisan group of 36 state attorneys general. This brief defends residency laws, but additionally examines ramifications this case could ensue with regard to additional effective alcohol regulations, such as physical presence requirements. The Center for Alcohol Policy also filed a brief highlighting the historical background of state alcohol regulations.

“Laws protecting public health and safety potentially could be at risk with an adverse ruling. The attorneys general of an overwhelming majority of states, both Republican and Democrat, recognize the effectiveness of our system of state-based regulation of alcohol in the US and are determined to educate the high court on the potential impact a decision could have on many state laws,” stated Patrick Lynch, Center for Alcohol Policy Advisor and former Attorney General of Rhode Island

The Court heard oral arguments on January 16, 2019, and a decision is expected by the end of June.

The Center for Alcohol Policy’s national opinion survey results additionally show support for a broad array of state-based alcohol regulation, and this support has been overwhelmingly consistent over the years.

Methodology: The survey was conducted by New Bridge Strategy among 1,000 adults ages 21 and older throughout the nation. The interviews were conducted online and distributed proportionally throughout the U.S. and are demographically representative of this age group. 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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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 www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

Registration for the Center’s 12th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference Now Open

April 6th 2019, 10:15am

The Center for Alcohol Policy’s 12th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference will be held Aug. 25-27, 2019, in Boston, Mass., at the Boston Marriott Copley Place. Registration for the conference is now open. Don’t delay – register today!

Here’s what you can expect to see in August:

  • An analysis of the pending United States Supreme Court decision in Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Assn. v Thomas concerning state residency laws. How could the court’s decision impact state-based alcohol regulation? 
  • A look at the illegal activity of direct shipping and cross border sales of alcohol. What is the impact and what are states doing to combat this black/grey market?
  • Have you ever considered the multiple benefits of active law enforcement? We’ll explore coordinated efforts to use alcohol regulatory agencies to aid other state law enforcement efforts such as tobacco bootlegging, tax evasion, gambling and human trafficking.

For information on how to register for the conference and book your stay at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, click here.

Stay tuned for more sessions, speakers and presenters coming soon!

Nominations Open for Seventh Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award

March 12th 2019, 10:17am

The Center for Alcohol Policy is now accepting nominations for the Seventh Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award to be presented at the Center’s 12th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference, August 25 – 27 at the Boston Marriott Copley Place in Boston, Mass.

The award recognizes the work of alcohol regulators who oversee the alcohol industry and promote public safety. Any governmental agency or its employees working to promote and enforce alcohol laws and regulations are eligible for the award. A specific program that has achieved positive results or an individual within an agency going above and beyond the call of duty are examples of potential nominees.

Nominations should provide information on how the nominee serves as an example to others in alcohol regulation. Consideration will be given to how the actions of this nominee are helpful to other agencies or employees, achieve desired results and engage or impact a broad coalition of stakeholders. Self-nominations are permitted, and letters of support are encouraged.

HOW TO NOMINATE:

DEADLINE: The deadline for nominations is June 17, 2019, 5:30 p.m. EDT. Nominations postmarked/emailed after this deadline will not be considered.

AWARD: The Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award recipient will be honored during the Center’s 12th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference in Boston, Mass. The award recipient also may be eligible to receive complimentary registration and a speaking opportunity at a future Alcohol Law and Policy Conference

For more information, please call (703) 519-3090 or email info@centerforalcoholpolicy.org.

North Carolina Alcohol Policy Forum Examines State-Based Alcohol Regulation, Public Health and Safety

March 4th 2019, 3:28pm

DURHAM, NC – On Monday, Feb. 25 The Center for Alcohol Policy and the North Carolina Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association co-hosted one of the Center’s state alcohol policy forums, which enjoyed the attendance of over 50 state policymakers, legislative staff, alcohol regulators, several public health representatives, and industry members.

The forum was kicked off by the National Beer Wholesalers Association’s Chief Economist Lester Jones, who provided the audience with an evaluation of the current role that the industry plays in the U.S. economy and industry trends that are taking hold.

The second session included a panel that delved into the public health benefits that stem from proper and effective alcohol regulation. Pam Erickson, former Executive Director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission and CEO of Public Action Management, delivered a brief history of why alcohol has been and should be regulated the way it is, pointing out that “we cannot sell alcohol like we do tires and mayonnaise.” Citing a United Kingdom case study, Erickson described how that country’s “alcohol-related problems became epidemic” after deregulation, and “once you de-regulate, it is almost impossible to go back.”

Following Erickson, Dylan Ellerbee, Chair of the North Carolina Alcohol Policy Alliance, dove deeper into the public health and safety aspects of alcohol control. Ellerbee touched on the current “public health crisis” that stems from alcohol abuse, provided recommendations on how to curtail the high consumption of alcohol, then expounded on North Carolina’s control system, in which liquor retail stores are government-owned.

“Revenue generated per capita is around $30, while for non-control states it’s around $14.” He continued that “North Carolina is 44th of all states in consumption rates and 7th in revenue generated.” Ellerbee concludes that there would be negative repercussions if the state were to do away with its current system.

The forum’s final session highlighted the legal relevance of alcohol regulation and the differences between control system states and license system states. Brannon Denning, a Center Advisor and law professor at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, primarily focused on the significance of Toward Liquor Control right after prohibition and still today, given that it has “provided a road map on temperance, separation of the tiers, licensing and much more.”

Denning additionally updated attendees on recent court cases that are challenging the current system, such as Tennessee Wine and Spirits Retailers Association v. Thomas.

Closing the day, Neal Insley, Senior VP and General Counsel at the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA), offered a comprehensive look at “control states” versus “license states.” Insley maintains that while both systems involve shared principles that help curtail problems to keep an orderly alcohol market, “control states tend to have much more control over issues such as pricing and receive more accountability from the state.”

When regulating, Insley emphasizes, “we need to acknowledge that alcohol is not an ordinary product, recognize the important role of science in informing and enforcing regulation, and find a balance between public safety and commercial interests.”

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 12th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference August 25-27, 2019 in Boston, Mass. 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.

Essay on State-Level Alcohol Licensing Wins First Place in Center for Alcohol Policy’s 11th Annual Essay Contest

February 11th 2019, 9:43am

Alexandria, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy is pleased to announce that Nathaniel E. Moyer, an associate attorney at Harrison & Moberly, LLP in Indianapolis, has been named the winner of the Center’s 11th Annual Essay Contest. The national essay contest is intended to foster debate, analysis and examination of alcohol policy.

To enter the contest, participants were asked to provide thoughtful responses to the following prompt:

The licensing of individuals and businesses that are involved in the commerce of alcoholic beverages is an important feature of state-based alcohol regulation. Why is licensing necessary for an orderly marketplace, what impact does it have on public health and safety and what are the benefits provided by licensing systems?

“This year’s essay contest gave participants the opportunity to remind us of the importance of strong licensing regulations on those engaged in the commerce of alcohol,” stated Brannon Denning, Center advisor and associate dean and law professor at Samford University Cumberland School of Law, “the winning essays all highlight the public health and safety benefits of this important enforcement tool.”

Moyer’s winning essay, “Drink Local, Think Regional: Implementing an Orderly Alcohol Marketplace Through State-Level Licensing,” argues that the modern licensing system has proven its legitimacy and capacity through accomplishing “the goal of curbing alcohol’s worst excesses while concurrently promoting safe and responsible consumption.” His paper details the harmful impacts of alcohol use, illustrates previous alcohol policy initiatives in America and their effects, describes lessons learned from those policy agendas, and finally dives into the licensing system that exists today and its benefits to the public.

Moyer concludes that the “local regulatory framework model embraced by the 21st Amendment… has proven both durable and sustainable… The clear benefits of the current system should not be lightly disregarded, and wise policymakers will seek to preserve it.

Timothy Gervais, a Staff Tax Accountant at Tidwell & Associates in Rocklin, CA, was awarded second place with his essay, “Benefits of Alcohol Licensing: A Brief Discussion.” Gervais explained how the current “three-tiered licensing system of producers, distributors, and retailers provides a regulatory framework intended to: 1) provide safe alcohol to the consumer, 2) ensure that tax revenue from the sale of alcohol is returned to the state, and 3) discourage public over-consumption while mitigating the negative health and social effects of excessive alcohol intake,” but that meaningful regulation lies in implementation.

Shannon Auvil, a law clerk in Georgia, was awarded third place for her essay, “Creating Order for a Disorderly Product.” Her essay legitimizes the foundation for how alcohol is regulated today, expressing how “most effective public safety efforts are multi-faceted – they consider new technology, various audiences, education outreach, and creative ways to engage the public and make our communities stronger,” all the while being guided by those decades-old principals of an orderly marketplace.

The winning entrants received prizes of $5,000, $2,500 and $1,000 respectively.

 

Photo Downloads:

Nathaniel Moyer – First Place

Timothy Gervais– Second Place

Shannon Auvil– Third Place

 

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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 www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

Virginia Alcohol Regulator Receives National Award at Center for Alcohol Policy Annual Conference

October 16th 2018, 2:15pm

Alexandria, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy is pleased to announce that Chris Curtis, Deputy Secretary to the Board with the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (Virginia ABC), is the recipient of the Sixth Annual Leadership in Alcohol Regulation Award.

The award, which recognizes a specific program, agency or person who oversees the alcohol industry and promotes public safety, was presented by the Center’s Advisory Council at the 11th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference, in St. Paul, Minn.

“The Center for Alcohol Policy understands the importance of the work that alcohol regulators do on the front lines of many initiatives in the states aimed at the fair and proper regulation of the alcohol industry, the promotion of public health and safety and the support of a competitive business marketplace,” said Mike Lashbrook, Executive Director of the Center. “This award highlights effective best practices that may serve as examples to alcohol regulators in other states.”

“Chris served in several senior level positions with the Virginia ABC,” continued Lashbrook, “and throughout his distinguished career worked toward a careful balance of public safety and a competitive marketplace.”

Curtis is known for his mentorship, proactive efforts in enforcement and public health, promoting and implementing innovative strategies and a fair and balanced approach to alcohol regulation. He has a willingness to work with all stakeholders and build consensus on important alcohol regulatory issues.

Curtis started with the Virginia ABC as a store clerk, taking on several other roles before his current role as the deputy secretary to the board.

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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 www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org or follow the Center on Twitter at www.twitter.com/AlcoholPolicy.

 

 

New Report Examines Challenges & Solutions for Fake IDs in Evolving Retail Environment

July 12th 2018, 4:22pm

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The Center for Alcohol Policy has released a new report, “Fake IDs in America: Challenges of Identification and the Critical Need for Training,” authored by Susan Dworak, CEO of Real Identities, LLC. The report outlines current challenges posed by fake IDs, identifies best practices for verifying identification on alcohol sales, and proactive measures policymakers, regulators and licensees can take to protect against alcohol purchases with fake IDs. Dworak explains that as new technologies and consumer patterns evolve, age verification for purchasing alcohol and other regulated products becomes more challenging – and this is a serious problem for alcohol retailers and their employees as well as for communities and general public health.

“Less than 20 of the 50 states mandate a responsible vendor program and nearly half of those states do not mention ID checking as part of the required curriculum,” explains Dworak, highlighting the need for robust server and gatekeeper training as the number one defense against the fraudulent purchase of alcohol with a fake ID. On the issue of reliance on ID scanners, Dworak points out that scanners cannot detect fraudulent behavior with borrowed or stolen real IDs and that magnetic strips on licenses are easily manipulated. Dworak urges, “[w]e must consider the extent to which we allow convenience to play a role in regulation or enforcement in the protection of society.”

The report also discusses the evolving retail landscape, where online ordering, third-party deliveries and shipments, self-checkout and cashier-less checkout can make ID verification for the purchase of alcohol even more of a challenge. “Regulations need to address all parties involved in the ordering, selling, purchase, and delivery of alcohol,” Dworak continues, “regulations can be drafted to withstand change with universal principles.”

Dworak will share her report in a panel, “Brave New World of Age Verification,” at the 11th Annual Alcohol Law and Policy Conference taking place Oct. 9 – 11 in St. Paul, Minn. See the Conference’s webpage to learn more about the annual conference.

You can find the full report here.

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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 the Center’s website or follow the Center on Twitter.

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Center for Alcohol Policy
1101 King Street Ste 600-A Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 519-3090 info@centerforalcoholpolicy.org