Guest Editorial: ABC Board not in the 'sales' business, in the 'control' business

Guest Editorial: ABC Board not in the 'sales' business, in the 'control' business

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - The Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board was created in 1937 for the protection, welfare, health, peace, and morals of the people. In other words, the ABC Board is not in the sales business, we are in the control business.

State stores do sell the majority of spirits purchased in Alabama. But, again, they do not exist to compete for profits. Through licensing, inspecting, and compliance checks on bars, restaurants, and stores, the ABC Board controls access to liquor. Keeping alcohol out of the hands of underage drinkers and those over-served is a vital role that we take very seriously.

Remember, Alcohol isn't an ordinary commodity. It is a dangerously addictive drug that kills 70,000 people each year. Leaving it to the private sector weakens controls and endangers public safety.

To WSFA's comment that, "Those who do the best job to earn our business should be allowed to flourish and those that do not should be allowed to fail," I would point out the ABC stores' value to consumers – lower prices, better selection, reasonable hours, and well-trained employees. ABC employees are the first line of defense, of enforcement, and aren't motivated by profit.

The bottom line is Alabama's control system works. It works for consumers. It works for taxpayers by being self-sufficient AND generating badly needed revenues for state budgets – more than $200 million a year. And it works by protecting public health and safety.

That's a win-win-win.

Dean Argo - Alabama ABC Board

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