The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Letters

January 16, 2014

Viewpoint: Erasing all restrictions on alcohol sales is recipe for disaster

(Continued)

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.

u 81 percent believe states should regulate alcohol because it is different from other consumer goods.

u 89 percent agree that government regulation on alcohol is necessary to keep people safe, in some instances.

u 82 percent 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.

u 79 percent support the rights of states to determine their own laws and regulations regarding the sale of alcohol.

u 73 percent believe that local businesses should be in charge of alcohol distribution in their communities since they better understand community preferences.

The reference to local community and local businesses is particularly important here.

Some special interest groups continue to depict their push for no controls on alcohol as a groundswell movement of irritated consumers offended by “archaic” laws. But Hoosiers aren’t knocking down the doors of the Indiana Statehouse demanding a new law that lets them buy cold beer at gas stations on Sundays.

In this legislative session, we’ll offer the same take we’ve had as this assault on regulation continues — that sound public policy controlling the sale of alcohol should be consistent, and that erasing any and all restrictions on alcohol sales is a recipe for disaster.

So do Hoosiers support selling alcohol everywhere, anytime by anyone? It just isn’t so. If this was a true advocacy movement with real consumers behind it, we doubt we’d be having this argument year after year.

And if there is a successful rollback pushed by out-of-state corporate interests, then maybe we’ll be serving our kids alcohol like they do in Missouri.

Steve Kohrman, a resident of Grabill, is chairman of the Indiana Association of Beverage Retailers.

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