Beshear Creates Task Force to Address State Alcoholic Beverage Laws

Citing concerns with outdated and contradictory regulations, Governor Steve Beshear announced Wednesday the creation of a task force to study of Kentucky's alcoholic beverage control laws.

“Many groups, including licensees, state regulators, law enforcement and private citizen shave called for statutory reform of our alcoholic beverage laws. They agree that Kentucky’s current laws do not adequately account for a 21st Century economy and standard of law,” Beshear said in a news release. “A task force that includes members from a broad spectrum of backgrounds and professions is best suited to identify the problems, debate policy and make recommendations for improvements.”

The state has over 13,000 licenses issued to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers for alcoholic beverages, with more than 70 different license types to regulate those operations.

Specifically, the task force will conduct a focused study and review of the laws with an emphasis on the following:

·         The number and types of alcohol licenses issued by the state and what activities each license should authorize.

·         The effectiveness of local option election laws in achieving their goals and representing the interests of the various voting localities.

·         The enhancement of public safety and compliance with regulatory requirements.

The 20-member task force will consist of government officials and representatives from each of the following organizations: Mothers against Drunk Driving; Kentucky Association of Counties; Kentucky League of Cities; the Liquor Retail Coalition; the Restaurant Association; Wine and Spirits Wholesalers Inc.; the Distillers’ Association; the Vineyard Society; Beer Wholesalers’ Association; Malt Beverage Council; and a representative from a licensed microbrewery.

The task force will be led by Public Protection Cabinet Secretary Bob Vance and will hold three statewide forums to get feedback from the public.

Beshear has asked that the panel submit a report with recommendations by January.

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