Alabama’s Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (ABC) is a bit of a contradiction in terms. By its own admission, the ABC exists to ensure “high revenue with low consumption.” It’s little more than contradictory booze magic if any of us bother to think about it.

Increased consumption means increased revenues. Decreased consumption means the opposite. With that kind of contradiction, it’s no wonder that the ABC’s Twitter account is bit tipsy.

Just take a look at 2017 so far:

The ABC began the year with WebMD’s information about hangovers as a courtesy. If someone had a New Year’s hangover three days later, he or she probably did drink too much.

In February, the ABC tweeted “Booze is the new popcorn at the movie theater!” That’s going to make movies more interesting, and the ABC is clearly excited about it.

In March, the ABC asked us to “Be safe out there!” and linked to a rather interesting Nevada-based website advocating “safe socializing” to help reduce consumption.

This April, the ABC decided to tackle distracted driving with an article claiming that texting while driving in Oregon is “another form of drunk driving.” It is not. Otherwise, we would see a run on whatever kind of phone they’re selling in Oregon.

Next the ABC wanted to us to see that a newspaper in Louisiana doesn’t think LSU should have an official beer. Most Alabama football fans probably agree, but won’t begrudge them an official corndog.

Then there was the tweet about drunk elderly people in the United Kingdom. Yep, that’s a thing.

Never willing to let an exclamation point go to waste, the ABC found Alabama having the third highest beer taxes in America “Very Interesting!” I’m not sure Alabamians share the agency’s enthusiasm for taxes. Actually, I am sure. They do not.

You know what is interesting? The ABC admitted that the liquor mark-up increase isn’t because of factors at all related to the ABC.

Next, the ABC ruined the day for people in Autauga County who like drinking in scary places.

The ABC Board has “some friends who are in trouble” because getting drunk as a teenager leads to premature death. That’s awkward.

In June, the ABC seemed to agree that religion is keeping the ABC in business. If big government and cronyism are a religion, then I’d probably agree.

In July, the ABC pointed to research that concluding that binge drinking leads to compulsive drinking disorders–a surprise to those of us who thought binge drinking was a compulsive drinking disorder.

And most recently, rehab is opening doors for everyone! Since the ABC can’t actually control alcohol consumption, the agency would like us to know we have options.

I won’t spoil all the surprises. I left out some true gems. It’s pretty clear that the ABC doesn’t even know whether it wants us to drink more or less. That’s mostly because it’s a relic of Prohibition that wasn’t ever designed to maximize revenue. Claims about revenue “generation” are just another way the ABC justifies its existence. If that’s the case, then the Alabama Department of Revenue “generates” more revenue than any state agency.

Our politicians might not be conservative enough to get rid of the ABC like the majority of the country, but at least we get a little entertainment from a government social media feed that looks a little like somebody’s been drinking.

Image by Kues


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