Friday, April 10, 2009

Common Sense Alcohol Control

From the years 1920 thru 1933 alcohol production and consumption was illegal in the US; this period was known as Prohibition. Although a failed policy amongst the people, the purpose and intent of the law was a noble endeavor. The statesmen of the time realized, alcohol was a certain vice to the people of this nation. The consumption of alcohol was and is known to contribute to, vagrancy, promiscuity, violence, financial ruin, unproductive behavior, sexual assault, motor vehicle impairment, and a general lack of good judgment. Not all people who use alcohol behave in the manner before described but many do; too many too ignore. Statistics to substantiate alcohol’s negative affect on society, financially, morally and physically are not hard to come by. In its wake alcohol consumption, leaves victims; the self inflicted variety and the innocent. The mere statistics of the tangible harm to the people in this nation is a cause to act. By acting we can not only prevent thousands of deaths, rapes and murders, we can also prevent the inevitable intangible negative affects to our great nation, such as; poverty, depression, broken homes, unproductiveness and littering.

My solution and the forthcoming proposed bill is not a renaissance of prohibition, but merely common sense alcohol control (HB Al-2009a).

Proposal component 1) - Identification marking
Every container of alcohol in the most individual form, regardless of the size and potency must have an individual identification mark. This identification mark bust bear the, manufacture date, location of manufacture, potency and quantity. The ID mark must be unalterable and uniform in location. The expense for the marking equipment is upon each manufacturer. Each State government that passes this bill may require additional information on the “ID mark” upon their own accord. All equipment and expense thereof required to comply with individual state requirements shall be at the expense of the manufacturer.

Component 2) - Tracking
All marked alcohol will be recorded with each state government before the alcohol makes entry into the state, including all of the information on the means of transport.
Tracking and documentation shall be reported at delivery from warehouse to retail location. A transfer in ownership of each container must be recorded when delivered to a retail location and from retail to purchaser.

Component 3) - Registration and liability
Each buyer/holder of any alcoholic beverage must have a license to possess and/or consume to take ownership. Each state may of its own free will, shall determine the requirements of license.

Private Citizen requirements and 3a)- The standard requirements for a private citizen license holder will be- Legal citizenship, legal age, absence of criminal record, and payment for the processing of the identification license and administration. Additional possible license requirements (per state) may include-Proof of payment of- State taxes, child support, moving violations, stable mental health, absence of alcohol abuse in family history, sufficient credit score, alcohol safety training, and proof that no one in the household receives government assistance, with exception of social security recipients over the age of 63. Additionally it may be required that each container (even if in a locked and secure cabinet) have individual cap locks as a redundant method of prevention against underage consumption.

Retailer 3b) - Each retailer, at their own expense will possess the equipment to scan and report each sale. Loss or suspension of license will occur, in the event of, sale to an unlicensed buyer. Failure to report theft of alcohol, failure to allow random audit, failure to pay transaction fees, failure to report broken or damaged containers, falsely reporting broken or damaged containers, will also result in license suspension or termination, possible criminal charges and seizure of all alcohol.

Special sales (Bar, Tavern, events) 3c) - Sale of individualized containers shall comply by the same rules as “retailers.” Bars and Taverns shall comply with additional regulations as they typically re-sell alcohol packaged in larger containers as smaller portions. Example keg beer sold as draft and liquor sold by the shot. These larger containers shall only be sold to bars and taverns since they are containers that might be used for binge drinking. These especially dangerous containers deserve special laws; they shall be referred to as vessels of mass consumption. All keg type sales from a bar to a licensed buyer must be recorded by weight. All presale spillage and over-pour must be contained for the purpose of weight auditing the sales. Each waste pour over container must be registered and prepared for“water down audit.” A 16 oz grace for unaccounted for beer will be given per keg. Similar rules apply to liquor and wine.

Government held containers 4) - All government held empty bottles, cans, kegs and otherwise must not be resold for reuse. Each vessel must be mutilated and destroyed, recorded, documented and accompanied with a, “Certificate of Destruction.”

Purpose for Identification, Tracking and licensing- The primary purpose for this orderly distribution of alcohol is due to its dangerous nature. Even though most that buy and consume alcohol do it in a responsible manor, many do not. Some adults buy alcohol for teens or abusers or felons; some stores sell to teens, abusers and felons. Upon purchase of every container the buyer becomes liable, partially or fully, for every misdeed, construed to be perpetrated by the consumption of the specific container[s] of alcohol. By placing the liability upon the licensed purchaser, the licensed purchaser would be less likely to, resell or give alcohol to the under aged or unstable. We must face it alcohol is the problem; not the people who drink it. It must be controlled by common sense Alcohol control legislation.

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