DALLAS, TX – North Carolina Attorney General and National Association of Attorneys General President Roy Cooper delivered the keynote address at the Third Annual Center for Alcohol Policy (CAP) Alcohol Law Symposium. He spoke about a wide range of topics including a state’s role in regulating alcohol under the 21st Amendment, the importance of society’s interest in fighting underage drinking and the abuse of alcohol.
Attorney General Cooper noted the unique nature of alcohol saying it’s important that alcohol be regulated, “because it is different, because it can be controversial and because it can be potentially dangerous.”
He also emphasized the importance of protecting consumers. “Alcohol can be dangerous when it is misused, but it can be an important part of our economy when regulated properly,” he continued.
CAP Advisory Council Chair and former Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro opened the two-day event saying, “A state’s ability to regulate alcohol is being challenged in many states, so this gathering is a great opportunity for regulators, public health community advocates, elected leaders, alcohol beverage industry insiders and others interested in alcohol issues to come together to share insight and ideas.”
Alcohol law attorneys, tax experts, a professor of alcoholic beverage law, a former alcohol regulator, a community leader and a public health advocate spoke on panels about topics including:
· Public Health Perspectives on Alcohol Regulation
· 21st Amendment Litigation
· Alcohol Regulation’s Important Role in Tax Collection
· Legal Developments in Fighting Drunk Driving
· The Role of Religion in Alcohol Regulation
· Ethics Safari: Surviving the Legal Practice
Robert Tobiassen of the Alcohol Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) and Don Zeigler of the American Medical Association participated in the “International Relations, Alcohol, Public Health and the 21st Amendment” panel. They focused on the issues that public health and government agencies consider when involved in foreign trade debates related to alcohol. From dealings with foreign alcohol manufacturers to the public health considerations of alcohol regulation or states’ rights under the 21st Amendment, the speakers discussed the complex issues that are present in an increasingly globalized alcohol marketplace.
A panel entitled “Defending State Liquor Laws Under the 21st Amendment: A State Perspective” highlighted the obstacles states face when confronted with a 21st Amendment-related challenge. The panel included David Hadas of the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Texas Solicitor General James Ho, John Maisch of the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement Commission and Lisa Tavani of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General. Drawing on their litigation experiences, the panelists offered advice for defending a state against a 21st Amendment-related challenge.
Another session, “The Delicate Balance Between the Tiers,” featured Anthony Kogut of Willingham Cote, P.C. and Michael Madigan of Madigan, Dahl & Harlan. They discussed laws that help enforce the separation of the three tiers in the American system of alcohol regulation, including franchise laws and tied house restrictions.
More details on speakers, education session topics and the full Symposium agenda <http://www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/CAP-Symposium-Agenda-2010.pdf> can be found at www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org <http://www.centerforalcoholpolicy.org/> .