The Administrator of the State Alcoholic Beverages Division says alcohol consumption statewide has been up dramatically. Lynn Walding oversees the state-run liquor business. He says sales were up 20 percent in March and he says the “boom period” continued on in April, so sales overall for the year are up six percent. Walding says private parties drove the increase. He says sales at bars and taverns held steady, but the purchase of alcohol for private parties increased. He attributes that to the warmer weather and more people having parties. Walding says the economy doesn’t seem to be a factor in sales. He says people drink regardless of the economic times. The Iowa legislature passed a tougher drunken driving standard, and Walding says that may have a short-term impact on alcohol sales. He says the experience in dropping the drunk driving standard to point-oh-eight in other states shows consumption in bars goes down right after the new standard, but he says it eventually returns to what it was before. Walding says the state looks to take in 120-million dollars in alcohol sales if the current trend continues through the rest of this year.
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