Skip to main content
Alcohol Control Systems

Retail Distribution Systems for Spirits

Laws addressing retail distribution of distilled spirits including State-run, private licensed sellers, or combination systems.

Policy Topics Navigation

View another policy topic by selecting an option from the following menu.

Variables: Alcohol Control Systems: Retail Distribution Systems for Spirits

  1. Jurisdiction

    • The comparison tables include only the 18 States with a State-run wholesale or retail system for at least one alcoholic beverage subtype as of the January 1, 1998 baseline date. The remaining States have had license wholesale and retail systems for all alcoholic beverages (see Definitions for further clarification regarding license and State-run control systems) since that date.
  2. Distribution System - Overall
    • The overall distribution system is characterized as:

      • State-Run—A system in which a State has the exclusive authority to set the price of and gain profit/revenue directly from retail sales of all types of Spirits for off-premises consumption (rather than gaining revenue solely from taxation) (see Definitions).
      • Mixed/Not Overlapping—A system in which some Spirits subtypes are sold at retail through the State-run system and other Spirits subtypes are sold through the license system, but none is sold through both (see Definitions).
      • Mixed/Overlapping—A system in which one or more Spirits subtypes is sold at retail through both State-run and license systems (see Definitions).
      • License—An alcohol control system in which a State licenses private businesses or individuals to conduct retail sales of Spirits (see Definitions).
  3. Distribution System - By Spirits Subtype
    • The Distribution system for specific Spirits subtypes is categorized as:

      • State-Run—A system in which a State sets the price of and gains profit/revenue directly from sales of the Spirits subtype (rather than solely from taxation) (see Definitions).
      • Both—A system in which the identical Spirits subtype is sold at retail through both State-run and license systems.
      • License—A system in which retail sales of the Spirits subtype are conducted by private businesses or individuals who are licensed by the State for that purpose (see Definitions).

A Spirits subtype is assigned to an Indeterminate category when a lack of clarity in the statutes or regulations makes it impossible to determine with certainty how the subtype is distributed.