Ohio liquor sales exceed $600 million

Derek Lenehan

PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY MELISSA GAUG | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Ohio liquor sales hit an all-time high last year.

“The Division of Liquor Control is pleased to report that we once again achieved a new record high in dollar sales of spirituous liquor,” said a division of the Ohio government last week.

The new state-wide yearly liquor sales record to beat is $611.5 million. Last year marked a decade of consecutive increases in the amount of liquor sold in Ohio. The previous record, set in 2004, was $571 million.

Several factors combined to cause the increase, according to Matt Mullins of the Ohio Division of Liquor Control.

“Increases in pricing, Ohioans buying more premium-priced liquors and an increase in gallons sold,” were all causes, Mullins said.

The increase in money spent on liquor isn’t necessarily a bad thing, he added.

“Dollars go back to the state for alcohol education programs, drug treatment programs, economic bonds and all sorts of other programs that benefit all Ohioans,” Mullins said.

Susan Roxburgh, associate professor of sociology, is an expert on medical sociology.

“If alcohol consumption is a response to stress, and consumption has increased, then that suggests that people are feeling more stress,” she said.

“There are certainly ample indicators that people are feeling more financial stress. Bankruptcy claims are higher than they have ever been, layoffs are up and wages are stagnating.”

Scott Dotterer, coordinator of student health promotion, said there may be no significant increase or decrease among Kent State students.

“Binge drinking is the best indicator of quantity of alcohol consumed, and through data collection, binge drinking has stayed flat for some time,” he said.

Police records show a different story. In 2005, there were 242 alcohol-related arrests on campus, up 75 percent from 138 in 2004, according to the Kent Police Department.

Contact academic affairs reporter Derek Lenehan at [email protected]