Study: Wine in grocery stores doesn't cause safety issues

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An in-depth national study conducted by three prominent university researchers has found that wine sales in retail food stores are not linked to increased community safety issues such as traffic fatalities.

The June 2013 study, published in Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, concluded that arguments against allowing the sale of wine in retail food stores on the basis of higher crime and traffic fatalities are likely unfounded.

An article in the Harvard Kennedy School’s Journalist Resource cited the study’s findings, including that beer is more strongly linked to safety issues and increased sale and consumption of wine – which would decrease the amount of beer consumed overall – would thereby have a negligible effect on traffic fatalities.

These results support a 2011 study from Cornell University, which has two authors in common with this more recent study.

“Safety is one of the most important issues for Tennessee residents, and Tennessee retailers take these issues of community safety very seriously as well,” said Jarron Springer, president of the Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association. “In addressing those concerns, this recent study supports that increasing wine sales will add to Tennessee consumers’ convenience and increase their options, without jeopardizing their communities.”

Wine in retail food stores bill sponsor state Sen. Bill Ketron added, “Because the safety of Tennessee residents is always top of mind, this bill that will be considered again in 2014 will require that everyone who sells wine, including liquor retailers, has to card every purchaser.”

“This study confirms what we’ve been saying and what other studies have supported: that wine is not linked to increased safety problems,” said state Rep. Jon Lundberg, the bill’s sponsor in the Tennessee House of Represenatatives. “Retail food stores are already adept at training their employees in the responsible sale of alcohol, and it would be great to have the system streamlined among all alcohol retailers.”

Read more from:
Bill Ketron, Business, Politics, Tennessee, Tennessee Grocers and Convenience Store Association, Wine in Grocery Stores
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Members Opinions:
August 08, 2013 at 10:24pm
The argument that selling wine in the grocery store is an issue of traffic safety is poor argument. I have spent a considerable amount of time in grocery store parking lots throughout my lifetime, and I have never scene anyone pop the cork on a bottle of wine and hit the road. I have lived in states and in a few countries where all forms of alcohol are sold in grocery stores and gas stations and never saw anybody pop the cork and then drive away.

I believe the difficulty of pulling the cork in a car would be a deterrent to drinking while driving. The tall bottle would also be difficult to manage while driving and would definitely cause a spill. Red wine could cause havoc on most car interiors. Most people have perishable items when they leave the store and typically drive straight home to prevent spoilage. They also tend to buy groceries close to home so killing a whole bottle on the way home is unlikely. Beer seems like a much more likely option for drinking and driving. They also refrigerate beer, which makes it more appealing for the drive home.

If people in this town want the roads to be safer, they should ban cell phones. Every time I hit the road I see people running lights, swerving between lanes, and tail gaiting. I believe cell phones impair more drivers than booze in any form.
August 10, 2013 at 7:49am
I tend to agree with srm5d. When driving in town I feel more at risk from drivers on cell phone talking or texting than I do from someone who is drinking. Why? Because there are more of them and "texters" are just as impaired as "drinkers".
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