Monday, February 6, 2012

UPDATE: Alcohol promotion bills

Unfortunately, no less than five alcohol promotion measures have advanced to the Senate Rules Committee:

• SB 6076 (Creating a senior center license);

• SSB 6060 (Allowing day spas to offer or supply without charge wine or beer by the individual glass to a customer for consumption on the premises);

• SB 5650 (Allowing craft distilleries to sell their own spirits at qualifying farmers markets);

• SB 6475 (Changing the criteria for the beer and wine tasting endorsement for grocery stores); and

• SB 6477 (Concerning spirits sampling in former contract liquor stores).

Since WASAVP is the only organization speaking out against these bills, a lot of grassroots activity is needed to stop these.  Please begin by asking anyone you have on Senate Rules to help keep these measures off the floor!

Normally, only one bill should be addressed per email, letter or call to a given legislator. But in this instance that would multiply the communications 5-fold and one point to be stressed is the cumulative effect of such legislation (rather than just taking each proposal in isolation from the others). Advocates are encouraged to contest all five at once.

One argument against these bills is that while the literal law enforcement message is “don’t drink and drive” these bills send a dangerous mixed messages to kids (especially) and even adults that drinking “a little bit” and driving is okay.  Also, people in recovery should be able to visit day spas, grocery stores and farmers markets without being offered a drink. Legislators could be asked, rhetorically, where -- if ever -- the line is going to be drawn on permitting alcohol sales and promotion in atypical locations!

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