Nevertheless, the LCB's defenders, including the beer distributors' "Protect Our
Virginia, which also has a state liquor monopoly, reports that its compliance rate is 97% [2009 Annual Report, p. 9]. Give both states equal benefit of the doubt reporting their own success rates. The difference between 94% and 97% is the difference between a 3% and a 6% failure rate. Washington state stores serve minors twice as often as Virginia's do. And a 6% failure rate is not very good given that the state store system costs $100 million a year to operate and its single most important mission is to prevent minors from buying liquor.
There are a couple of lessons here: First, the folks behind the "Protect Our
The second lesson is that the Liquor Control Board is squandering its resources running an ineffecient store system, while failing to put enough resources into effective enforcement. The proof is in the pudding. Washington's underage drinking rate is worse than the national average, no matter how many times certain people say "best in the nation". In recent years, the LCB's enforcement budget has actually declined, while sales expenses have ballooned. If I-1100 passes, it will increase the LCB's education and enforcement budget by 20%. This will enable more "best practices", such as more frequent compliance checks, which have been shown to be effective at reducing underage sales in other states.