Costa Rican officials recently confirmed that 19 people have died from drinking tainted alcohol. The Dominican Republic is also investigating deaths that may be alcohol-related. How does this happen? How can we be sure that what we are consuming is in fact what the label says it is, and nothing more?
Thanks to the effective three-tier system of beverage alcohol regulation, American consumers aren’t faced with reports of counterfeit and tainted alcohol showing up at hotel bars and local restaurants, much like the headlines of other countries. The three-tier system prevents any poisonous, counterfeit alcohol from reaching consumers in Illinois or any other state. In addition to their commitment to public health and safety, America’s family-owned distributors provide consumers with the widest variety of wine and spirits in the world.
Here in Illinois, wine and spirits distributors are not only regulating alcohol, but they are also a reliable and cost-effective source of revenue collection for the state, and prevent tax evaders from undercutting local businesses. As the central link in the state’s three-tier beverage alcohol system of suppliers, distributors, and retailers, distributors help collect nearly $1.7 billion in state tax revenue from alcohol sales.
Illinois’ current system of collection and distribution practices saves state dollars by accurately and efficiently collecting and remitting $232.05 million in state excise taxes each year. But responsible distribution practices don’t just save money for the government, they also help keep prices reasonable for consumers and guarantee the authenticity of products in the market. As long as businesses within the Illinois marketplace can rely on tax policy that gives them certainty and allows them to confidently invest in their companies, brands and products will continue to grow and the marketplace will continue being orderly and profitable for all. Lawmakers must do everything they can to protect this well-established system that has become the global standard for beverage alcohol regulation. Thanks to these processes, tourists don’t need to worry about the origin of their hotel room alcohol or what they’re buying at the store, and can feel safe consuming alcohol while traveling throughout the U.S.
Karin Matura is the Executive Director of Wine and Spirits Distributors of Illinois.