Monday, February 25, 2013

Liquor Control Board considers rule to require liquor vendors to report thefts

The passage of Initiative 1183 privatized liquor sales across the state last summer.  Since then, many communities have seen an increase in theft of spirits.  The Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) is currently engaged in rulemaking that would require spirits license holders (stores that sell liquor) to report 4 times a year the theft or loss due to shrinkage.

Liquor theft has been covered by media and following are two examples:
A November 2012 post contains additional information.

Mandatory Reporting of Loss of Spirits Due to Theft and Internal Shrinkage: The public comment on proposed rulemaking on this topic will end Wednesday, February 27, 2013.  This is a different and distinct window of opportunity for public comment then the one that ended on January 27.  (In late January this item progressed to the “proposed rulemaking phase” - known as CR 102 - where a new comment period began specific to the proposed rule.)

Proposed language under consideration by the LCB states:

(4) Spirit retail licensees must report to the board quarterly on a form provided by the board, spirits product loss due to theft and internal shrinkage.

The proposed language would be added to the Washington Administrative Code (WAC) that defines the requirements for a spirits retail license.  The new language is underlined and can be found on the last page of the attached notice to stakeholders.

Public comment to the LCB can be submitted in any of the following ways:

Why is reporting of theft is important?
1. Law enforcement can better direct resources to mitigate public safety issues such as alcohol-fueled crimes and the black market of theft and resale of spirits.

2. The state can better quantify the amount of revenue loss from what would have been legitimate sales.

3. Prevention coalitions and concerned community groups can better assess the extent spirits are available to youth in their community.

Public Hearing
A public hearing on this item will be included in the LCB’s February 27 meeting.  The meeting begins at 10:00 a.m. and the public is invited to participate.  Comments about this proposed rule may also be submitted to the Rules Coordinator prior to the meeting.  

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