Making tax money off booze has its side effects

To the editor:

Recent headlines for two articles talked about a local convenience store starting to sell beer and “State police made 19,963 DUI arrests in 2017.” Convenience stores sell beer in locations all over Pennsylvania and the nearly 20,000 DUI arrests by the state police is a 1 percent increase over 2016; and it does not include the number of DUI arrests made by the local police departments.

DUI crashes also increased nearly 15 percent in that same year. What would you expect to happen when beer, liquor and wine are now available at many more locations and at more hours and on more days of the week and year, including holidays?

Increased alcohol consumption means more tax revenue, but it also means more health problems and more DUI arrests and crashes that result in higher premiums for automobile and health insurance and additional legal fees.

The state legislature prefers taxing alcohol products, but this “sin” tax comes with devastating consequences. Legislators will take credit for the increased tax revenue, but will they also accept responsibility for the expensive side effects of increased alcohol consumption that I call the “booze blues”?

David L. Faust