Although often viewed cautiously by industry members, federal and state alcohol regulators work for the industry and the American public to assure that the market place is a safe, as well as a level, playing field. The federal and state alcohol agencies all were formed as a direct result of this nation’s ratification of the 21st Amendment in 1933.

Most alcohol agencies are chartered to regulate and control the manufacture and distribution of alcohol beverages within their respective jurisdictions for the purpose of fostering and promoting temperance in their consumption, and respect for and obedience to law. "Temperance" is intended to encompass the broad range of political, social, economic and cultural dictates associated with the regulation of alcohol. These dictates include sheltering minors, discouraging irresponsible or excess consumption, assuring payment of taxes, discouraging contraband (whether adulterated, tainted, or counterfeit), and promoting the operation of an orderly licensing system that facilitates government's ability to control and account for how alcohol beverages are produced, marketed, transported, sold, and consumed. The element of public accountability is a very important responsibility that was instrumental to the development of the three-tier system following Prohibition; sadly, however, it goes unmentioned all too often during litigation or public debate over the efficacy of traditional alcohol regulation.

Part and parcel with their temperance responsibilities, alcohol agencies also are authorized to determine whether public convenience, advantage and "orderly markets" will be promoted by the issuance of licenses to traffic in alcohol beverages. Consequently, subject to applicable statutes and regulations, these agencies increase or decrease the number of licensees and the location of licensed premises in a manner that best suits the public interest. They do so through the timely processing of license applications, permits and brand label registrations.

Alcohol agencies also are responsible for compliance and enforcement. They protect the public directly, and in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies, to bring administrative actions against licensees who violate the law.

Because we recognize the important role performed by alcohol regulators, our Alcohol Industry Team undertakes pro bono legal research on behalf of regulators where those efforts serve the public interest. Likewise, our professionals lecture and present legal programs to regulator associations such as the National Conference of State Liquor Administrators (NCSLA), the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association (NABCA) and the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA).

  • Resources

    Message to TTB Regulated Industry Members - The federal government has reopened and that means the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) is back to work! We understand that the shutdown imposed hardships on many of you, the industry members we regulate, and on the public we serve. We want to assure you that TTB is committed to reducing the impact of the shutdown in as many ways as possible, and as quickly as possible, to lessen the effects on your business operations.

    Be Careful What You Wish For! -- Anheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Schnorf
    - Few Ever Expected To See The Day When A Big Brewer Would Invoke Granholm v. Heald and the Commerce Clause To Challenge State Beer Regulations.  So, What Happens When A Federal Judge Accepts The Argument And Tells The Brewer "You’re right, but . . . " Is Enough To Make Any Regulator Question The Future of State Alcohol Regulation in America.

    A Renewed Conservatism in Alcohol Jurisprudence - Arnold’s Wines, Inc. v. Boyle, Case No. 07-4781-civ, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, July 1, 2009

    Melendez-Diaz v. Massachusetta VERSUS Briscoe v. Virginia - Getting The Evidentiary Nature of BAC Test Results for DUI Prosecutions Right The Second Time Around?

    Does SIZE Matter? Family Winemakers of California v. Massachusetts - A Federal Appellate Court Declares Massachusetts’ 30,000 Gallonage Cap On Wineries That Direct Ship To Be An Impermissible Burden On Interstate Commerce, and Further Shrinks the Legal Enhancement Afforded State Alcohol Regulation by The 21st Amendment.

    Stats Matter! - Why The Evidence is Key for Alcohol Regulation to Win the Day over The First Amendment.

    The Proof of the Constitutional Pudding is the Evidentiary EATING! - Black Start Farms LLC v. Oliver - A Federal Appellate Court Upholds Arizona’s Right to Regulate Direct Sales and Shipment of Wine By Imposing Gallonage-Caps and Face-to-Face Transaction Requirements On "Large" Wineries, and Further Restores Judicial Respect for The Twenty-first Amendment.

    States' Rights RISING! Siesta Village Market LLC v. Steen - A Federal Appellate Court Upholds Texas’ right to Prohibit Direct Sales and Shipment of Alcohol Beverages by Out-of-State Retailers, and Restores Judicial Respect for The Twenty-first Amendment.