March 21, 2017

CONTACT: Briley Hughes
803-733-5600 (office)
[email protected]



Columbia, S.C.
 As the South Carolina Senate debates whether or not it should increase the number of alcohol licenses approved each year in South Carolina, Palmetto Family Council suggests caution after publishing a new report detailing that South Carolina has an obvious alcohol problem.

The report, Can South Carolina Hold Its Liquor? Alcohol Accessibility and Consumption in the Palmetto State, 1970 – 2016, provides a comprehensive examination of accessibility to alcohol in South Carolina and the effects alcohol consumption has on the Palmetto State. Key findings include:

  • Access to alcohol has increased drastically in the past two decades as the number of alcohol licenses issued by the South Carolina Department of Revenue has skyrocketed 38% since 2000.
  • The South Carolina Legislature’s constant tinkering with the Palmetto State’s alcohol policies has led to increased access to alcohol and confusion on how to interpret and enforce new alcohol laws.
  • South Carolina remains one of the most dangerous states concerning drunk driving.
  • Binge drinking and dangerous drinking habits among South Carolina colleges students has seen a troubling increase in the past few years. In fact, South Carolina is tied with Louisiana for having the most binge drinkers in the South.

The report comes in the wake of a recent ruling by the South Carolina Supreme Court in Retail Services & Systems, Inc., d/b/a Total Wine & More v. South Carolina Department of Revenue and ABC Stores of South Carolina that has opened the door for hard liquor to not just be sold at liquor stores, but also in hundreds of discount retailers, big box stores and even grocery stores across South Carolina. The ruling will stand if the South Carolina General Assembly does not act to clarify the statue under question as required by the Court.

Briley Hughes, Communications Director for Palmetto Family Council, said of the report’s findings that, “before increased access to alcohol in South Carolina is allowed, decision makers should read these findings carefully. The right and smart decisions must be made in order to keep our fine state as safe as possibly for all South Carolinians – current and future.”

Palmetto Family Council’s staff is available in Columbia to discuss what the findings mean for South Carolina and its future. To request an interview, contact Briley Hughes at [email protected] or (803) 733-5600.

The full report can be found here.

A condensed version of the report’s findings can be found here.

A video version of the findings can be found here.





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