In a beautiful example of 'baptists and bootleggers', Scott Beyer tells the tale of drinks laws in two US states - Louisiana and Oklahoma. The former has among the most liberal and the latter the most illiberal with controls over distribution, pricing and the manner of sale plus stonking levels of tax on booze. And the result:
Another rationale may be public safety; officials want to limit the availability and appeal of alcohol, so that it isn’t abused. The only problem is that this doesn’t work, any better than 1920s Prohibition did. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Oklahoma is in the upper third of states for its intensity of binge drinking, with Louisiana surprisingly in the middle of the pack. And the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility found that in 2012, Oklahoma had the sixth most drunk driving of any state, while Louisiana was outside the top 10. Updated data shows that Oklahoma still has a higher drunk-driving fatality rate than the national average.
Prohibition doesn't work. Not that our public health friends and their allies among the bootleggers give a toss about all that - high taxes mean more nannying fussbuckets on the public purse as well as more opportunities for smugglers, counterfeiters and assorted other criminal riff-raff to cash in.