Title 4 Rewrite
On May 17, 2012, the Alaska Alcoholic Beverage Control Board convened a meeting to discuss needed changes to Title 4, Alaska’s alcohol statutes. A steering committee and subcommittees of stakeholders were formed to discuss issues and form recommendations about: Licensing and Permits, Underage Drinking, Role of the ABC Board, Internet Sales, and Local Option Laws. This stakeholder group grew and changed over time, developing a comprehensive set of changes to state statutes intended to solve many, many issues the ABC Board and others have dealt with over the years, modernize and clean up our state’s alcohol laws, and make Title 4 work better for everyone.
Ten years later, through the perseverance of our legislative sponsor Senator Peter Micciche, collective advocacy of Recover Alaska, Brewers Guild of Alaska and Alaska CHARR, and all of our partners across multiple sectors, multiple legislative sessions and several bill numbers, many changes and amendments, and MANY hours of hard work from a dedicated group of people across the state – TOGETHER, WE DID IT!
- In 2016, Senate Bill 165 – improving penalties for underage drinking and adding a public safety member to the ABC Board – passed! As a result, youth are no longer penalized with jail or losing their driver’s license for a mistake involving alcohol, and connection to support services is encouraged via reduced fine. Sponsor: Sen. Micciche
- On May 15, 2022, Senate Bill 9 – the comprehensive package of changes that the group began developing in 2012 – passed the Alaska House, with a successful concurrence vote the next day on May 16. The bill will become law in the next few weeks. Sponsor: Sen. Micciche
While the policies our stakeholder group recommended shifted over the years as the bill was amended, the integral content of positive change for health, safety, industry, and community remains strong. All of our organizations stand firmly behind this work, and look forward to the many benefits this will bring to Alaskans.
The work isn’t done: before most of SB 9 goes into effect on January 1, 2024, there will be new and updated regulations, outreach and education to everyone who uses Title 4 (industry, local governments, law enforcement), as well as work at the courts updating penalties. The ABC Board, Alcohol and Marijuana Control Office (AMCO), trade associations and other partners will be working to outline the work ahead and what needs to happen before the bill fully goes into effect. If you are still involved with Title 4 in some way, you will hear more about implementation soon.
In the meantime: this is a huge milestone to celebrate! It has been a long time coming, and could not have happened without everyone’s hard work and collaboration over the last decade. On behalf of the Title 4 Review stakeholder group, we extend our deepest appreciation to every individual and organization who participated in the process, worked to build consensus and develop recommendations for Title 4, and supported bringing this important project to a successful finish after 10 years! THANK YOU!
Check out the additional resources below to learn more about this effort.