Alcohol Monopoly Privatization and Expansion of Alcohol Availability (The Effects)

I. Beliefs about Alcohol Policy.

Many groups and individuals oppose alcohol monopoly privatization. Of course, public employee unions adamantly fight against it for obvious reasons.


I.   Beliefs about Alcohol Policy

II.  Case Study

III. Resources

In addition, many temperance-oriented groups also strongly oppose increasing the availability of alcohol. That includes limiting the

  • Number of stores that can sell alcohol.
  • Days and hours of alcohol sales.
  • Quantities that a customer may buy.
  • Alcohol content (proof) of beverages.
  • Advertising of alcohol.

Such groups generally favor increasing

  • alcohol monopoly privatizationAlcohol taxes.
  • Fees on alcohol producers, wholesalers, and retailers.
  • Expanding warning labels and signs.
  • Server liability for any problems from drinking.

In addition, they

  • Strongly oppose government alcohol monopoly privatization
  • Support requiring warning labels on all alcohol ads.
  • Promote  lowering the legal BAC level for driving.
  • Advocate eliminating the tax deductibility of alcohol beverages as a business expense.
  • Oppose alcohol education that presents drinking in moderation by adults as normal. Also as acceptable.
  • Call for prohibiting alcohol company sponsorship of sports events.

II. Case Study

 alcohol monopoly privatizationThe state of Washington had state alcohol monopoly privatization in 2012. At the same time, there was a massive expansion of alcohol availability. Consequently, people were suddenly able to buy alcohol in about 1,500 licensed stores. So clearly, that was a massive expansion of availability.

Many special interest groups predicted a dramatic increase in alcohol consumption. So researchers decided to assess the impact of alcohol monopoly privatization. Also, of the dramatic expansion of alcohol availability.

They sampled 2,289 adults in three surveys during 2014 and 2015. The adults reported their typical monthly quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption before privatization. They also reported their current past month quantity-frequency.

alcohol monopoly privatizationThe researchers found no change in the quantity and frequency of alcohol consumption after the changes.

Source: Kerr, W. et al. Survey Estimates of Changes in Alcohol Use Patterns Following the 2012 Privatization of the Washington Liquor Monopoly. Drug Alc Rev, 2018, Feb 12.

III. Resources

Alcohol Availability and Alcohol-Related Harm.

Alcohol Prices. Would Raising Them Reduce Drinking among High School Students? (

Gmel, G. et al. Are alcohol outlet densities strongly associated with alcohol-related outcomes? A critical review of recent evidence. Drug Alco Rev, 2016, 35(1), 40-54.

Nordstrom, T. et al. Potential results of replacing a retail alcohol monopoly with a private licence system. Addict, 2010, 105(12), 2113-9.

Popova, S. et al. Cost of privatisation versus government alcohol retailing systems. Drug Alco Rev, 2012, 31(1), 4-12.

So was alcohol monopoly privatization desirable? You be the judge.