Regulating the Supply of Alcoholic Beverages

Regulating the Supply of Alcoholic Beverages


Alcohol consumption is drinking beverages that have ethyl alcohol as an ingredient. Alcoholic beverages are highly consumed in the country due to their psychological and physiological effects on the consumers. However, there are instances where the consumption is based on religious or social context. Examples of these alcoholic beverages are wines, spirits, and beers. In beers, the alcoholic level is lower ranging from 2-8 percent with some going up to 4 or 5 percent. Wines have an alcohol content of 8 to12 percent while spirits such as rum, brandy and whiskey having a percentage of between 40 to 50. Therefore, due to the arising effects after consumption, the government has always tried to regulate the use of these beverages.

Once alcoholic beverages are consumed, they dilute the gastric juice in the stomach where little amount diffuses into the bloodstreams through the stomach walls with massive absorptions in the small intestines. Though excreted out of the body through urine and sweat, the remaining alcoholic content is harmful to body parts such as the kidney, lungs and the stomach. At times, the alcoholic content in the body leads to slow functioning of the body parts where extreme consumption leads to shutting of various body organs. Alcohol influences the central nervous system which supplies blood to the brain. Hence, excessive use of alcohol acts as a sedative substance to the mind leading to low functioning of the brain. Therefore, addiction to alcohol consumption is a threat to ones’ life.

Although there are different motives for alcohol consumption, there are those who have not to control their consumption levels which is an addition. A small volume of consumption is always meant to ease tension, relieve anxiety feelings as well as converse to a loss. However, some have different motives such as treating cold with consumption of whiskey, brandy to treat faintness, beer for lactation purposes and spirits as control over spring tonic. Therefore, in such a situation, the consumption is based on beliefs rather than medical knowledge.

Consequently, alcohol consumption in the country has been a leading cause of deaths. Though there are limitations for alcohol consumptions such as set age limit, these limitations have been undermined and lowly recognized in the country. Therefore, it has resulted in increased death trolls among the users. Thus, there as an alarming issue, there is a need for measures to regulate the supply for alcoholic beverages all over the country. Restricting the quantity of alcoholic beverages has been a trending aspect in the U.S history over the years. Through numerous consultations, there have been commerce related regulations on the supply of the products.

Regulating the Supply of Alcoholic Beverages

Sturdily, the government should take charge of controlling alcoholic beverages supply in the country. Although government efforts to control alcoholic beverages has always been present and presumed to be working, the laws have repeatedly failed to execute their desired control over the increased consumption of alcoholic substances. Among the many failures of the alcohol control policy was the 1919-1933 Prohibition in the United States (Esser & Jernigan, 2018, 391). However, although some states have been able to have a slight impact on alcoholic supply, there is still a great threat posed by the constant amount of these beverages. Therefore, though the government has tried to regulate the supply, their efforts have not yet been in perfect implementation in society.

It has been widely known that government efforts to implement Prohibition was a failure demonstrating the futility of attempts to legislate morality in the country. Consequently, the Volstead Act has been widely violated during the prohibition era. Since the repeal of the Prohibition, the mandate of regulating commerce in alcoholic beverages has always been left out under the control of state officials. However, there are certain cases and instances where the federal government plays some virtual roles in enhancing control measures. Therefore, both the state and the federal government has been at the forefront of fighting alcoholic beverages supply in the country.

The U.S Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (BATF) has been part of the bodies regulating the supply of alcoholic beverages in the country. BATF regulates sales of alcoholic substances through licenses to the importers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. Additionally, the body regulated advertisements on such substances as well as labeling used in alcoholic beverages to ensure controlled consumption. Through the regulations, there is a limitation to the target market niche where sales for alcoholic beverages has been prohibited to minors (Levine & Reinarman, 1991, 473). Therefore, though having substantial economic impacts, the limitations are meant to  control the supply of alcoholic beverages in the country ethically.

  1. The Single Distribution Theory

The government should introduce economic measures to help reduce the demand for alcoholic beverages which in return will lower the supply. Firstly, the government should enforce the Single Distribution Theory.  The theory states that when everything else is constant, reducing distribution channels leads to reduced intake of the products (Gruenewald, 2011, 252). Therefore, as the price for an alcoholic beverage is increased through different means such as taxes, there will be a reduction in supply which will make consumers find it expensive for their needs thus reduced intake. As the intake for the beverages reduces, there will be reduced alcoholic beverage supply in the market.  Therefore, economically the government will have gained through the levies on the small amount being sold while reducing the volume of consumers.

Though there are arguments that alcoholic is impervious towards the economic trends in the country such as availability and price, there is a strong connection between them where alcoholism is directly and indirectly affected by availability. Alcoholism being a single effect of alcohol consumption deserved a public concern to help reduce the menace. Thus, there is a shred of considerable evidence where addiction is directly and indirectly affected by economic factors. Direct effects influence market forces on heavy drinking about the distribution of alcoholic beverages. Indirectly, an increase in manufacturing prices leads to an increase in product costs which affects the consumers indirectly through retail costs thus being a barrier to the increased and excessive consumption. Therefore, if the government aims at reducing the use of alcohol, distribution channels of the substances should be cut to ensure low supply with higher prices.

Alcoholic beverages are subject to United States taxation. Therefore, through tax regulations, there can be a controlled alcoholic consumption in the country as shown in Fig 1.0 below. Interfering with taxations for alcoholic beverages would manipulate the prices which in return shifts prices for the substances. Though alcohol tax revenues were a significant source of income, the Prohibitions introduced has reduced the percentage to nearly less than 1 percent of the state’s budgets (Rehm et al., 2014, 887). As shown in Fig. 1.1 below, there is a relative reduction in alcohol consumption with the price increase. Therefore, there would be little impact on the state’s budget from alcoholic incomes once the restrictions are implemented. Thus, the government should increase taxations for alcoholic beverages to discourage their supply in the market.

Fig 1.0

Fig. 1.1

  1. Controlling Off-Premise Retail Sales

Regulating the number of retail sales is a compelling economic way to ensure reduced consumption of alcoholic beverages in the country. Municipal, state and federal rules can help in regulating the retail sales for the alcoholic drinks meant for home consumptions. Firstly, they can be implemented to regulate the number and location for the retail sales outlets in the region thus controlling the supply of these substances introducing monopoly states in the amount of alcoholic beverage is also a way to reduce the volume of supply for the drinks decreasing their consumption. Licensing on specific outlets is also a regulatory measure that the government can apply to lock out different and lots of outlets stores which have made it easier for consumers to have easier access and affordability for the alcoholic beverages (Fergusson and Boden, 2011, 513). Therefore, the various government measures to fight and reduce the number of sales outlets is the number one step in controlling alcoholism in the states.

Alongside controlling the retail stores that act as outlets for alcoholic beverages, the government can extend their limitations to various public areas where consumption for these alcoholic beverages take place. Regulating the joints can be done through the introduction of measures to fulfill before opening a local joint where consumers enjoy their liquor. Through a reduced number of bars and clubs, there would be a discouraged society towards increased restriction for alcohol consumptions. Therefore, limitations on liquor outlets is a step towards a reforming society free from the excessive supply of alcoholic beverages.

Concisely, alcohol consumption has been on the rise over the years all over the country. However, there have been exiting laws and order meant to help regulate the increased supply of alcoholic beverages despite their continued failure in regulating. Thus, the government needs to have a working and effective measures to ensure a controlled quantity of these substances to fight alcoholism in society. Therefore, regulating the sales outlets for alcoholic beverages would be a way to help reduce the volume of supply as well as increasing the price which would reduce the distribution for the commodities. Therefore, through effectiveness in government policies, there can be a regulated supply for alcoholic beverages all over the country.


Esser, M.B. & Jernigan, D.H., 2018. Policy approaches for regulating alcohol marketing in a global context: a public health perspective. Annual review of public health39, pp.385-401.

Fergusson, D. and Boden, J., 2011. Alcohol use in adolescence. Improving the Transition, p.235. Moskalewicz, J. & Simpura, J., 2000. The supply of alcoholic beverages in transitional conditions: the case of Central and Eastern Europe. Addiction95(12s4), pp.505-522.

Gruenewald, P. 2011. Regulating Availability: How Access to Alcohol Affects Drinking and Problems in Youth and Adults. 34(2): 248–256.

Levine, H.G. & Reinarman, C., 1991. From prohibition to regulation: lessons from alcohol policy for drug policy. The Milbank Quarterly, pp.461-494.

Rehm, J., Kailasapillai, S., Larsen, E., Rehm, M.X., Samokhvalov, A.V., Shield, K.D., Roerecke, M. & Lachenmeier, D.W., 2014. A systematic review of the epidemiology of unrecorded alcohol consumption and the chemical composition of unrecorded alcohol. Addiction109(6), pp.880-893.