Letter: State liquor system is outdated



As a lifelong resident of Clark County and the father of two young adults, I place great importance on our public safety, particularly in terms of our liquor laws. But the state’s total control of the business of selling liquor is beyond outdated and has outlived its initial purpose.

This year, Initiative1183 is the opportunity to end our outdated government liquor store system, while toughening our laws and strengthening enforcement. I-1183 has real teeth on liquor enforcement — doubling fines and penalties for selling liquor to minors. And 1183 mandates new training and compliance requirements for stores.

At the same time, I-1183 sends more revenue to local government, where it is most needed, without raising taxes. The Washington state Office of Financial Management estimates that 1183 will provide an additional $400 million more than the current system over six years — including more than $200 million in additional revenues coming back to local communities — much of it dedicated to increasing funding for local public safety programs.

It’s time to update Washington’s liquor laws, and 1183 is the right way to do it.

George D. Miller