Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

I-1183: Privatization poses no threat to safety

Letter by Tim McCreary, Lacey on Oct. 18, 2011 at 10:27 am | 5 Comments »
October 18, 2011 12:19 pm

After reading numerous studies about the privatization of alcohol sales vs. state control, the data suggest public safety is better served by privatization.

Despite the Canadian findings of an increase in alcohol-related fatalities due to alcohol privatization, American researchers found numerous problems with the Canadian research. For example, the demographics of the newly privatized stores were not considered.

The Commonwealth Foundation’s study for the Pennsylvania Senate debate showed an actual increase in alcohol-related fatalities among those states with the greatest control over alcohol sales. One possible explanation for this is that those states with the greatest controls over liquor sales encourage drinkers to drive to bars or restaurants more frequently.

The Commonwealth Foundation study also showed that there is “no relationship between alcohol control and underage drinking,” and “among the 10 states with the lowest rates of underage drinking, six states are license states.”

Alcohol-related highway fatalities have decreased dramatically in most of world’s developed countries since the 1980s. Increased enforcement stood out as a significant variable that directly affected the level of drinking and driving in those countries.

In short, the studies show that state control of alcohol sales decreases public safety and increases fatalities. I believe that the state of Washington would best serve the public’s interest by privatizing liquor sales and increasing investment in drug and alcohol education programs, law enforcement and liquor sales regulation. I vote yes on I-1183.

The News Tribune now uses Facebook commenting on selected blogs. See editor's column for more details. Commenters are expected to abide by terms of service for Facebook as well as commenting rules for thenewstribune.com. Report violators to webmaster@thenewstribune.com.