The harms from excessive alcohol abuse are a serious problem that society needs to address. There are great concerns which range from underage access to intoxicated drivers.

These great concerns are why alcohol is regulated differently than an average consumer good, such as marshmallows.

Luckily, unlike the days of prohibition, we are a more educated society and have greater resources to fight this great problem, which includes not only education but data.

When deciding whether to expand and offer another avenue in which to obtain alcohol, the policymaker should judge whether the new avenue will create a situation, which will cause excessive alcohol abuse.

As we look at this regulatory framework, the regulator should look at data and not manipulated studies, and employ a more sober analysis.

Unfortunately, what we have are too many interest groups with an economic interest putting out information that does not address the issues.

A case in point is the latest WSWA release “Regulators and Lawmakers Across the Country Sound the Alarm on DTC Spirits Shipping.”[1] In this writeup there is trotted out an isolated purchase from a state representative and statistics from Massachusetts that when analyzed further, don’t exactly support the conclusion.

To review, the Massachusetts numbers indicate that zero shipments verified the age of the recipient upon delivery. What they don’t tell you is that every officer was well above the age of twenty-one, and that it is unquestionably common that someone well above twenty-one will not be age verified in a brick-and-mortar location, maybe the gray hair gives it away. Further, in this study, a 15-year-old minor was able to place an order 96% of the time. This fails to account for the fact that minors are not going online to order alcohol to begin with. This was proven out by the VinoShipper study where minors represented .15% of all attempted purchases over a three year period (of 633,985 attempted purchases only 942 we attempted by minors from 2020-2022).

Instead of doctored positions to fit one’s narrative to protect an economic interest, what should be looked at is data which truthfully determines whether minors are getting their hands on alcohol, whether intoxicated driving is caused by an increase in DTC shipping, and whether other ills of excessive drinking such as domestic violence, crime, venereal diseases, and violence increase, because of greater DTC access to alcohol.

The state policy makers should ask questions about the real-world results of DTC shipping. We have had nearly twenty years of DTC data Post-Granholm, and numerous states which permit wine retailer DTC shipping, there is enough real world data in which to study.

Quit simply, the data is available.

A sober analysis of data should be undertaken. Then we would know the public interest would best be served by the policymaker!