Liquor privatization opponent group Protect Our Communities claims that both I-1100 and I-1105 would lead to an increase in underage drinking because “deregulation creates an incentive to sell more alcohol which means more access for teens and more high-risk and underage drinking.”
Seattle’s weekly newspaper The Stranger disagrees, offering a comparison with California as rebuttal:
[L]et’s compare Washington to another state that has privatized liquor. California has an underage-drinking rate of 26.3 percent of teenagers, far below Washington’s 31.3 percent rate, according to the federal government’s Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.
However, neither The Stranger’s comparison to current practices nor the Protect Our Communities supposition can answer this question. This is a “what if” question that cannot be answered. Beer and wine are widely accessible in Washington, and it possible to get “as drunk” on beer and wine as hard alcohol.