Another attack on liquor privatization proves inaccurate

One of the many bogus arguments made this past spring against privatization of the Pennsylvania liquor store system was that privatizing liquor stores would kill people.

The party line of opponents to liquor privatization was that making sales available in that manner would lead to more drunken driving collisions, and logically, more drunken driving deaths.

The United Food and Commercial Union blanketed the state with television and radio ads implying liquor privatization would lead to increased DUI deaths. The ads featured a young girl whose father was killed by a drunken driver.

The problem with such historical ads geared to emotional manipulation is that they usually are not factually accurate. This ad campaign was no exception.

Data obtained by the nonpartisan Commonwealth Foundation shows that in Washington state, where liquor sales were privatized a year, there was a decline in DUI collisions by 9 percent. DUI arrests also declined by nearly 9 percent.

These results followed predictions that both numbers would increase in Washington state if the liquor store system was privatized.

Meanwhile, alcohol-related traffic fatalities in Pennsylvania are above the national average, as are accidents related to DUIs.

The opponents of liquor privatization keep bringing up arguments to disguise the fact that resistance to the initiative is nothing more than a public union protection tactic.

Never mind that many of the same workers would be the work force under liquor privatization.

When the fall session starts, it’s time for the state’s lawmakers to show some political maturity and approve long-overdue liquor privatization for the state of Pennsylvania.

-Williamsport Sun-Gazette