OK: Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma Supports Modernization
September 15, 2015
Oklahoma City, OK — Bryan Kerr, president of the Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma (RLAO), recently announced a surprising number of liquor law reforms. Retail package stores have previously been accused of playing an obstructionist role when it comes to changing even some of the most antiquated laws. The RLAO seems intent on changing that image.
Mr. Kerr extended his gratitude to Senator Stephanie Bice for creating an opportunity for dialogue when she authored SB 383 earlier this year. “Her guidance and willingness to work openly and honestly with all interested parties as she leads this legislation through the process has been both immensely helpful and appreciated. The senator clearly has the interests of all Oklahomans in mind as she crafts legislation that modernizes Oklahoma liquor laws; balancing convenience and access with public safety, enforcement and the impact on locally owned businesses.”
Speaking on behalf of the RLAO, Kerr said, “This summer, we conducted a poll and we heard our customers loud and clear. We are committed to meeting the needs of the Oklahoma consumer without sacrificing public safety or increasing access of a potentially dangerous product to teens and others who should not have it.”
The Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma has proposed these extensive changes:
- Move to single strength (“strong”) refrigerated beer statewide.
- Wine available in select grocery stores.
- Items other than alcohol sold at retail package stores.
- Alcohol delivered to a customer’s home.
- Product samplings inside retail package stores.
- Accompanied children allowed in Oklahoma liquor stores.
- Liquor Stores open on Independence Day, Memorial Day & Labor Day.
- Growlers filled and sold at Oklahoma liquor stores.
Missing from the RLAO’s proposal is the ability for liquor stores to be open before 10am or after 9pm. Mr. Kerr explains, “Although it would be economically beneficial for our stores to be open more days and hours, the survey conducted by Sooner Poll showed weak support for such changes. In addition, it is just not good public policy. Dozens of studies have shown that the major contributing factors to alcohol-related crime and underage access are the density of outlets and the operating hours of those outlets. We already have enough issues with 3.2 beer being sold in too many spots and for too many hours of the day. To compound those with even stronger alcohol while adding another 600+ outlets to the equation would be irresponsible.”
A 1990’s study done by the Alcoholic Beverage Law Enforcement commission (ABLE) demonstrated that more than 85% of all alcohol-related traffic accidents and more than 80% of all alcohol-related traffic fatalities amongst those under the age of 21 were caused by the consumption of (3.2%) product purchased or stolen from a grocery or convenience store.
The Retail Liquor Association of Oklahoma was formed in 1982 and represents the many men and women who have invested their time and money into providing quality alcoholic beverages to their neighborhoods, cities and counties. The RLAO works with the legislature and other interest groups to help craft laws that benefit both Oklahoma Package Stores and the consumer.
Read the full release at http://RLAO.org/modernization.pdf