Tuesday, April 3, 2012

WASAVP letter to LCB about I-1183 rules

The WASAVP Board recently submitted a letter to the Liquor Control Board regarding the establishment of rules to meet the requirements of Initiative 1183.  In the letter, WASAVP requested that the Liquor Control Board implement policies that will mitigate harm related to increased access to liquor among youth and adults.

As you know, I-1183 eliminates state-run liquor stores and allows private businesses to apply for licenses to sell spirits.  State-run liquor stores protect the health and safety of communities by preventing excessive liquor consumption, including underage drinking.  Among the ways that state-run stores accomplish this is through a limit on hours of sale.  WASAVP requested that hours of liquor sales continue to be limited to what they currently are at state-run stores.

Another way the state-run stores protect minors is through limits on liquor advertising.  Since youth regularly visit grocery and drug stores, big box stores, and other retail establishments that will now be selling spirits, it is essential to maintain the Liquor Control Board’s policy of preventing advertising and marketing at these locations that target youth.  Specifically, WASAVP requested that new rules include:
  • a ban on the display of alcohol products in areas that contain products likely to be purchased by youth such as sodas, snack foods or energy drinks.
  • a ban on displays of youth-oriented advertising for alcohol products.  Such advertisements and marketing strategies include those that contain animal characters and young celebrities, glamorize alcohol use, or characterize alcohol use as an essential element in achieving popularity, social success or a fulfilling life.  
  • a ban on liquor advertising that is visible on the outside of retail establishments.  
  • a ban on spirits sampling in stores.
To better ensure that minors do not have access to liquor, WASAVP further recommended that rules be established that ban self check-out of all alcohol products and require that alcohol products not be placed near doors, making it more difficult for youth to avoid identification checks and to steal alcohol.

Finally, WASAVP requested that WAC 314-02-107, Section 1 (b) (ii) regarding employee training and supervision be strengthened to state that only employees over the age of 21 be able to sell alcohol.  If a vendor does not have a clerk over the age of 21 working at any given time, the check-out clerk must be well supervised, within the line-of-sight of his or her supervisor who is not a minor.

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