A powerful new study from the WSWA Educational Foundation, conducted by Morning Consult, measured perception of direct-to-consumer (DTC) spirits shipping among American mothers and found a near unanimous (91%) agreement among those surveyed that preventing underage drinking is important for lawmakers to consider when drafting new alcohol laws or regulations. With the majority of moms (73%) considering it “extremely important,” the results send a clear message to lawmakers who may be considering DTC spirits shipping legislation. Furthermore, 72% of American mothers are concerned that the DTC shipping of spirits across state lines will increase underage access to alcohol.
American moms surveyed (94%) said it is important that preventing drunk driving should be at the forefront of policy decisions when lawmakers consider new alcohol laws or regulations like DTC spirits shipping over state lines. According to the U.S. Teen Road Fatalities Report released by online student driving program Zutobi, in 2020 nearly 20% of incidents in which teen drivers were killed in automobile accidents involved driving under the influence (DUI). Alarmingly, of the 790 drivers aged 15 to 20 who were involved in a fatal crash, 24% of those who tested positive for alcohol had a blood alcohol level over the legal limit for adults.
The American three-tier system of alcohol distribution — made up by (1) your favorite licensed distillers and vintners; (2) licensed, family-owned wholesalers; and (3) locally licensed retailers — maximizes public health and safety through a transparent and traceable chain of custody that does not exist anywhere else in the world. Over 60% of moms surveyed are concerned that DTC shipping of spirits across state lines, which is largely hidden from state oversight, will increase access to dangerous counterfeit products.
In the last fiscal year, Customs and Border Protection seized over $3.3 billion worth of fake goods, including fake liquors that could be dangerous. Thanks to our current regulatory structure, American consumers have little exposure to the limited and dangerous markets that exist in other countries. However, a loosely regulated e-commerce marketplace, exacerbated by the prospect of DTC shipping of spirits across state lines, increases the opportunity for more bad actors to enter our supply chain.
An oversampling of populations in Texas and New York found that despite geographic, cultural, and partisan boundaries, moms across the country felt the same way about these issues:
American moms know that the U.S. alcohol supply chain is the safest, most diverse and well-regulated in the world and are three times more likely to say that the current three-tier system is working well than not. The DTC shipping of spirits across state lines dismantles this carefully regulated and accountable supply chain and endangers Americans.
This survey was conducted between August 2 and August 8, 2022, among a sample of 2,000 mothers nationally, 600 mothers in New York and 600 mothers in Texas. The interviews were conducted online. Results from the full national survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points. Results from the New York and Texas surveys have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
`1,2 Important = “extremely” + “somewhat”
3,4 Concerned = “extremely” + “somewhat”