Ky. Alcohol Laws Outdated, Task Force to Recommend Changes

Jul 19, 2012

FRANKFORT, Ky. - A new task force aims to improve Kentucky’s antiquated laws on alcoholic beverages.

“No one really understands how complex these alcohol laws are,” says Tony Dehner, Commissioner of the Kentucky Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Governor Steve Beshear signed an executive order Wednesday creating the task force. It will review current regulations, some of which date back to the repeal of Prohibition, and make recommendations on three issues: the number of alcohol licenses in Kentucky; the effectiveness of local option election laws; and public safety.

A map of Kentucky showing which counties and cities allow alcohol sales. -- Photo from Ky. Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage Control

“We have over 70 different types of licenses. And what we’re trying to do is eliminate some of these different types of licenses, consolidate it, make it more business friendly for people who want to get a license, make the process a little bit simpler,” says Dehner.

Even in a state known for its bourbon, there are a wide range of opinions on alcohol. Just this week three communities held local option elections; two cities voted to allow alcohol sales while one county voted no.

The task force will include industry groups, government officials, and a representative from Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Recommendations are due to the governor in January.