Wyoming Liberty Group
We have discussed how Wyoming’s alcohol regulatory system limits new small business opportunities without effectively deterring destructive behavior attributable to alcohol. The state rankings of alcohol abuse measured by DUI arrests per capita and binge drinking rate highlight some similar rural states that have combined market-friendly liquor licensing with lower levels of alcohol abuse.
West Virginia and Utah are the only two among the ten most responsible drinking states in both binge-drinking and DUI measures. Wyoming isn’t top ten in either. Unfortunately, Wyoming tops the chart in one category – drunk driving arrests per share of population. Therefore, market-oriented liquor license regulations in West Virginia or Utah do not necessarily lead to more irresponsible or dangerous behavior than exist under Wyoming’s current licensing regime.
Wyoming’s disturbing rate of alcohol-related calamity is no secret. Two ways to measure alcohol abuse among adults are to look at DUI arrests per capita and binge drinking rate. These measures show Wyoming leads the nation in DUI arrests per capita and is in the CDC’s second tier of states (out of three tiers) for binge drinking prevalence. Based on these data points, Wyoming’s system for regulating the alcohol market appears to be ineffective in deterring destructive behavior attributable to alcohol.
During Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s visit to Wyoming in November 2015, he discussed his strategy to put Louisiana’s fiscal house in order. His basic philosophy of government is that we can grow the American economy or we can grow the government economy, we can’t do both. If we want to grow the American economy we must shrink the government economy. This economic growth strategy worked in Louisiana and it will work in the Wyoming too, if given the chance.