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Updates on Alcohol Policy Information System

Updates on Alcohol Policy Information SystemState policy statutes and regulations

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 18, 2013


APIS Announces Annual Update of Alcohol Policy Information through January 1, 2013

The Alcohol Policy Information System (APIS), a project by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), announces its latest update of State-by-State alcohol policies.

This update reports on 26 substantive changes in State alcohol policy statutes and regulations that occurred though January 1, 2013.

Changes in one state, Washington, comprise a significant number of APIS coding changes for this update and, largely, pertain to the policy topics Alcohol Control Systems and Alcohol Taxes. In 2011, voters in Washington approved Initiative Measure 1183, which privatized all aspects of the wholesale distribution and retail sale of beer, wine, and distilled spirits. Therefore, the APIS designation of Washington as a Control State was removed. The Initiative also added a $0.76 per gallon Specific Excise Tax for beer, a $0.87 per gallon Specific Excise Tax for wine, and a $14.25 per gallon Specific Excise Tax and various Ad Valorem Excise Taxes for distilled spirits.

Other APIS Update Highlights include the following:

Alcohol Control Systems:
• Mississippi added retail and wholesale sales of beer between 5% and 8% ABW to its license system.
• Maine transferred retail and wholesale sales of distilled spirits between 6% and 8% ABV from the State-run to license system.

Underage Drinking:
• South Dakota changed its Use/Lose authority to impose license sanctions from Mandatory to Discretionary.
• Washington lowered the minimum age permitted to sell distilled spirits from 21 to 18 (featured in the Age of Seller policy topic).
• Connecticut changed its knowledge standard for Prohibitions against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties from requiring actual knowledge to criminal negligence, thereby making the standard less demanding to prove a case against an alleged social host.
• Illinois added outdoor and other types of property that establish liability under its Prohibitions against Hosting Underage Drinking Parties law, and also added possession as an activity by an underage guest that could trigger a violation, with certain exceptions.

Pregnancy and Alcohol:
• Colorado enacted a Limitation on Criminal Prosecution law. These laws prohibit the use of the results of medical tests as evidence in the criminal prosecution of women who may have caused harm to a fetus or a child.
• Texas added a Priority Treatment for pregnant women requirement. These laws mandate priority access to substance abuse treatment for pregnant and postpartum women who abuse alcohol.
• Missouri repealed its Mandatory Reporting Requirement law (to report suspicion or evidence of alcohol use or abuse by women during pregnancy by various individuals), although its Discretionary reporting provision remains.

Beverage Service Training and Related Practices
• Montana replaced its voluntary alcohol server training program with a mandatory server training program.
• Washington extended its mandatory server training program to both on and off-premises establishments, and adopted a voluntary responsible vendor program offering mitigation of penalties to qualifying spirits retail licensees.

Sunday Sales:
• Connecticut repealed its ban on Sunday sales.

These and other changes to current APIS policy topics are now posted to the site found at: Many are consistent with the goal of reducing underage drinking and its consequences, as well as the goal of reducing alcohol-related death and injury in the general population.

This project has been funded with Federal funds from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, National Institutes of Health, Department of Health and Human Services, under
Contract No. HHSN275201300002C.