Monday, January 5, 2009

Beer & wine regulations and underage drinking

An article appearing in today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer provides information about suggested possible changes to beer and wine regulations in Washington.

What the article does not discuss is how beer and wine regulations affect underage drinking. The "prevention community" in Washington is particularly concerned about:

1) Pricing: Studies show that higher prices result in lower consumption and underage drinkers are especially susceptible to price. The use of minimum mark-ups and the ban on quantity discounts are two key environmental strategies for preventing underage drinking.

2) Money's Worth: Money's worth (promotional) items should be considered advertising and marketing items and should be governed by stricter advertising and marketing regulations. Too often, these items appeal to children and youth and should not be present or given out in areas (such as restaurants) where children and youth are present. This contributes to underage drinking.

3) Internet Sales/Shipping Alcohol Products: Any shipping of alcohol directly to consumers needs to be strictly controlled to ensure minors do not have access to alcohol this way.

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