Last Month, the WSWA Educational Foundation, in partnership with Morning Consult, released the findings of a new survey that measured perception of direct-to-consumer (DTC) spirits shipping among New York mothers. The powerful findings of the survey clearly show that New York mothers understand the danger that DTC shipping of alcohol across state lines through common carriers – like UPS or FedEx – poses to their communities, including their children.
Seventy-three percent of New York moms surveyed were concerned that DTC spirits shipping will lead to an increase in underage access and 62% were concerned that it will lead to increased access to dangerous, counterfeit alcohol products.
New York moms surveyed were also three times more likely to say that the current three-tier system is working well than not and were more likely to say ID checks for DTC shipments are less effective than those conducted in local retail stores. New York moms know local retailers prevent underage access due to marketplace accountability – of which there is no equivalent in a DTC marketplace.
In the new year, the New York State Assembly is expected to consider legislation introducing the DTC spirits marketplace to New Yorkers – something New York moms clearly have strong concerns with. These findings are a powerful reminder to New York state legislators that alcohol is not like any other product being sold DTC on the ecommerce marketplace and that socially sensitive products need strong state-based regulatory practices that are transparent and enforceable.
These survey findings are further supported by research showing an increase in the likelihood of underage access to beverage alcohol when there are not proper identification checks during a shipment’s delivery process. A study by the Journal of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine found that 45% of alcohol orders placed by underage purchasers were successfully received and that “age verification at delivery was inconsistently conducted and, when attempted, failed about half the time.” Similar statements have been made during investigations in Kansas and Maine, where DTC alcohol shipments have been handed to children with no signature required.
WSWA has long championed local, delivery from a licensed retailer, with delivery executed by an employee or a licensed third-party delivery company with ID-check training. WSWA supports legislation and rulemaking that advocates for responsible delivery solutions, such as legal-drinking-age verification and provide beverages in safe, sealed containers with proper labeling.