Seventeen states (and Montgomery County in Maryland) directly control the sale of liquor at the wholesales level. Thirteen of them also control retail sales, which means their citizens purchase liquor at a state package store or designated agency outlet. For nearly eight decades, they have been working to promote responsible moderation.
All Liquor Control States
- Maryland (Only Montgomery and Worcester Counties)
- New Hampshire
- North Carolina
- West Virginia
As a control state, Utah believes that moderation can best be achieved by neither promoting nor encouraging the consumption of alcohol, but rather by controlling it.
In the regulation of alcohol beverages, they are the alternative to the license states -- where wholesale and retail sales of distilled spirits and wine are wholly in the hands of private sellers. By the participating in the marketplace, the control jurisdictions are able to serve their citizens with a broader and more flexible range of policy options for promoting moderation in the consumption of alcohol beverages and for reducing alcohol abuse. By keeping liquor out of the private marketplace, no economic incentives are created to maximize sales, open more liquor stores or sell to underage persons. Instead, all policy incentives to promote moderation and to enforce existing liquor laws are enhanced.
For more information on liquor control states, click here.
Advantages Of Being a Liquor Control State
A major source of income for the state
All proceeds from the sale of liquor are distributed as required by Utah Code.
In FY2018, gross sales of $453.69 million resulted in the return of approximately $191.06 million to the state and local jurisdictions.
- $112.31 million profit transferred to the General Fund;
- $45.43 million contributed to the school lunch program;
- $2.57 million to Parent's Empowered, the DABS's underage drinking prevention program;
- $1.75 million to the State Board of Education's underage drinking prevention program;
- $4.54 million to the State Bureau of Investigation's liquor law enforcement program; and
- $24.46 million in sales taxes collected and disbursed to the state, local counties and municipalities.
Education and Enforcement
Utah has made reducing underage drinking a policy priority to be achieved through education and stricter law enforcement. Proceeds from the sale of alcohol are used to fund these efforts. As indicated above, FY2018 sales provided:
- $2.57 million for Parent's Empowered, the DABS's underage drinking prevention program;
- $1.75 million for the State Board of Education's underage drinking prevention program; and
- $4.54 million for the State Bureau of Investigation's liquor law enforcement program.
Support of alcohol programs
In addition an appropriation from the beer excise tax is distributed each year to cities, towns and counties to be used exclusively for programs and projects related to prevention, rehabilitation, detection, prosecution and control.
Control systems promote moderation in consumption. Annual statistical data clearly shows that per capita consumption of alcohol beverages is significantly lower in control states.