Will More Choice and Convenience Really Kill Your Kids?

In a move that reeks of desperation, the United Food and Commerical Workers Union (UFCW) released a new ad with a ridiculous message: liquor liberalization will kill your kids.  

Think I’m exaggerating? Watch and judge for yourself.  

The ad is in response to the newest liquor plan being floated in Harrisburg.  

Not only is the ad over-the-top, but its message belies the facts.  We compared data from North Carolina (the state mentioned in the ad) with Pennsylvania, and found that Pennsylvania has a higher number and rate of alcohol-related traffic deaths involving underage drivers, which runs counter to the ad’s claims.

North Carolina Pennsylvania
Past-Month Alcohol Use, Ages 12-20 23.0% 28.7%
Past-Month Binge Alcohol Use, Ages 12-20 12.8% 18.7%
Traffic Fatalities, 15- to 20-Year-Old Drivers with BAC > 0.01 49 58
   As Percent of All Traffic Fatalities 23.0% 26.0%
Source: The 2013 Report to Congress on the Prevention and Reduction of Underage Drinking, https://www.stopalcoholabuse.gov

Keep in mind, Pennsylvania is one of only two states to have complete government control of the wholesale and retail sale of wine and spirits.  Yet North Carolina, which has more liberal liquor laws, saw fewer alcohol-related underage fatalities than Pennsylvania. 

In other words, there is no correlation between government control of alcohol and safety.

Of course, the UFCW is no stranger to making outrageous claims about liquor reform.  Last June, the union released a reckless ad featuring a young girl at her father’s funeral, implying liquor privatization would lead to more drunk driving deaths.  As we have highlighted before, that’s patently false

In fact, the claim was put to the test in Washington state just last year.  The result?  Drunk driving deaths actually declined after Washington state privatized spirits sales.

The kicker? The latest “it only takes a little bit of greed to kill a child” TV ad was paid for with $300,000 in union dues collected by you, the taxpayer.  Wouldn’t it be great if there were some way to protect taxpayers and union members from helping government unions run such shameful ads?