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Consequences of WA liquor sales going private

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  • Consequences of WA liquor sales going private

    Washington state has finally gotten around to studying the effects of privatizing liquor sales. Teen drinking is up, although they could not determine whether this was due to teens having more access through illegal sales or theft. (In one sting operation 40% of the retailers tested sold to minors.)

    I suspect it is a combination of both more outlets selling booze without the proper training or incentive not to sell to minors, and more theft, by teens or those who would sell to them privately. I still see stores with all the booze up front to entice customers, without proper monitoring or securing the bottles (except for the high end stuff, of course). The cigarettes are harder to get to.

    I don't have a problem with the state getting out of the liquor business - I just think it wasn't properly rolled out, and the "law of unintended consequences" comes into play. Merchants big and small need to keep the booze away from the doors and monitor it - or does the profit cover the amount of the loss, in which case they don't care?

  • #2
    Consequences Of WA Liquor Sales Going Private

    It is a mixed bag in Minnesota regarding liquor sales. Where I live, the city allows private liquor stores. Some other cities nearby have municipal liquor stores. Personally, I don't think government should be in the business of competing with private sector on things of this nature. For example, there aren't restaurant chains or gas stations owned and operated by city, county, state, or federal government near me. Minnesota is one of the few states that does not allow liquor sales on Sunday, however.


    • #3
      I dont think teen drinking, if it actually is "up" has any correlation to privatization. All the big box stores that now sell liquor, were already selling beer and wine.
      "Alright guys listen up, ya'll have probably heard this before, Jackson vs. Securiplex corporation; I am a private security officer, I have no State or governmental authority. I stand as an ordinary citizen. I have no right to; detain, interrogate or otherwise interfere with your personal property-... basically all that means is I'm a cop."-Officer Ernie
      "The Curve" 1998


      • #4
        From my personal point of view and experiences as a person who cannot legally purchase alcohol. I live in a state where it is unheard of the government competing with private businesses in the alcohol sector. However, I routinely participate with agencies as a "decoy" to attempt to buy alcohol from patrons or businesses themselves.

        I just want to point out that we are 100% truthful when we try to buy the alcohol. We do not lie or try to trick the clerks or patrons of the store. If I am trying to buy from some random person walking in my script is something to the like of "Hey man, the clerk would not sell me alcohol as I am underage and only XX years old. Could you do me a favor and buy me xx". If we are buying from the business we use our real ID card and tell them our age if requested.

        I recently did one and out of the 10 stores we went to, not one clerk sold to me. Several even tried to call the police and threatened me with arrest. This was the best result of one of the operations I have had in a while. I had one where 2 out of 8 places we went sold to me. But both of those places were "On sale" (Like a bar or restaurant) locations and not "off sale" (Liquor store or grocery store).

        I have never had a clerk from a gas station, liquor store, or grocery store actually sell me alcohol. They have so many systems in place that it makes it almost impossible for them to sell it to someone underage unless they went so out of their way and were so malicious about it to bypass all the systems.

        I have had clerks spend 5 minutes trying to figure out why their POS (Point of sale) was refusing to sell me alcohol and repeatedly entering my ID number/date of birth and swiping my card before finally giving up.

        It just seems like those type of employees are more well trained of the consequences of selling alcohol to a minor and more well trained. The bartenders and restaurants are not nearly as well trained. Most of the restaurants that have sold to me took my ID and looked at it and continued to serve me the beer. And yet they are always surprised when the agent or officer cites them.

        In the end, I think off sale businesses are doing a good job at preventing sale to minors. On sale locations need a lot more work.

        The operations where I buy alcohol from patrons entering a store tend to yield several arrests. I had one operation where the statistics came down to 1/5 people I asked bought me something. It is the general public that needs education more than the commercial sector.

        Edit.... and that was a really long post. Sorry