The Phoenix DUI Law Blog

Arizona Alcohol Tax Initiative Aims to Prevent Underage Drinking

Wine aficionados, be prepared! Your drinks may just get costlier after November. An alcohol tax may be coming soon to a bar near you.

The State of Arizona dished out $1.3 billion last year on alcohol and DUI related issues, reports Fox News. Now, an organization called Pennies for Prevention is looking to get some of that money back into Arizona’s pockets by imposing an alcohol tax.

The taxes would pay for early intervention treatment and the group is hoping to raise just over $153 million for substance abuse services.

The Alcohol and Substance Abuse Prevention and Early Intervention Health Initiative is set for vote in November. It proposes a tax of 25 cents on a gallon of hard liquor and a $1 tax on a gallon of beer. The initiative was filed on January 17, 2012.

The initiative has a large focus on underage drinking in Arizona, says public service and policy senior, Emily Broome.

Will the initiative be successful in reducing underage drinking?

Some say that the alcohol tax might deter college students from spending the extra dollar to buy alcohol. But that might not be a realistic expectation and instead, the focus on the additional revenue generated from the tax would be more helpful.

Sponsors have until July 5 to collect the 200,000 signatures needed for the tax to be placed on the ballot in November.

If the initiative goes through, then it would serve to establish an alcohol commission of 18 members to decide how the money is to be distributed statewide.

Will Arizonans go for another tax? With an uncertain economic future ahead, it’s hard to say whether the initiative can garner the signatures needed. We’ll certainly know more by July.

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