Package store leader has it wrong
Pumped-up prices don’t reduce drunken driving
FRANK ANZALOTTI, who leads Massachusetts’ package store trade association, has it wrong. Not only does he misunderstand calls to reform outdated Commonwealth alcohol laws, he misrepresents Total Wine & More’s role in that process. (See “Mega booze store out for self“).
Updating targeted regulations from their Prohibition-era origins, ensuring a fair market, and including protections for price-conscious consumers is not an assault on public safety – it’s a way to introduce competition and transparency to an industry that has historically been dominated by unchallenged incumbents. While it is Anazlotti’s job to advocate for the retailers who profit from this outdated system, Massachusetts consumers are losing out.Public health and safety are critical components of any alcohol regulatory framework, and Total Wine & More is proud to be a national leader in responsible business practices. Massachusetts has historically low rates of drunk-driving fatalities because of hard work by regulators, law enforcement officers, and social program administrators – not artificially pumped-up prices on wine, beer, or spirits, as Anazlotti disingenuously suggests. Following the Massachusetts Package Store Association’s advice on this issue would do little to benefit public safety, but it would limit consumer choice and keep existing retail establishments immune from competition.
Edward Cooper is vice president of public affairs and community relations at Total Wine & More.