Mission Statement: “A coalition promoting responsible behaviors to reduce/prevent substance abuse and other risky activities among youth/adults in Grant County”.

We accomplish this by:

  • Educating our youth/adults in substance misuse/abuse
  • Encouraging our youth/adults to make healthy decisions
  • Providing leadership opportunities for youth/adults
  • Sponsoring drug-free activities in our communities
  • Collaborating and networking to maximize our resources and effectiveness

Prescription Drop Off Locations in Grant County – Lancaster, Platteville & Muscoda

 Lancaster now has a place for you to dispose of your unused, expired or unwanted medications (prescription and over the counter.) The Lancaster Police Department received funding for this project from the Lancaster Community Fund. The box is located in the lobby of the Police Department, and you can drop your medication twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

They will accept: Prescription pills, capsules, powder packets and liquids, over the counter medication (pill and liquid form), vitamins, patches, ointments, and liquids – we ask that you call ahead to drop off liquids.

They do not accept: Thermometers, inhalers, needles, auto injectors, aerosol cans, and hydrogen peroxide. We ask that you drop off pills in their original containers (Hartig will shred all prescription bottles) or seal the pills in a ziploc baggie. Visit the Lancaster Police Department at 222 S. Madison St., Lancaster, WI.

The Platteville Police Department has installed a permanent medication drop off box. The S.A.F.E. Grant County Coalition, the Richland Iowa-Grant Drug Task Force, and others have helped to make this possible. The Platteville dropbox is available 7 days a week/24 hours a day. The Platteville Police Department is located at 164 North Fourth Street, Platteville, WI.
The Muscoda Police Department has also installed a permanent medication drop off box in the Kratochwill Memorial Building. The S.A.F.E. Grant County Coalition, A.E.T of Muscoda, Golden Living Center, Muscoda Health Center, Richland Hospital, and the Grant County Health Department have helped to make this possible. Drug Drop offs can only be dropped off during business hours (M–F, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and occasionally on weekends if an event is scheduled in the bldg). The drop off box is now available in the Kratochwill Memorial Building located at 206 North Wisconsin Avenue, Muscoda, WI – just outside the police department.
Platteville and Muscoda will accept the following items without calling ahead: Pills, capsules, vitamin pills/capsules, and sealed medicine powder packets. Call ahead to Platteville Police Department(608) 348-2313 or Muscoda Police Department (608)739-3144 to make arrangements for dropping of liquids, lotions, ointments, and patches.


They do not accept: Thermometers, Hydrogen Peroxide, Inhalers, Bloody or Infectious Waste, Needles (sharps), Auto-Injectors, or Aerosol Cans


Disposal at all locations is free of charge and anonymous.

May 1st: Letter from the Boscobel Police Department

WARNING: NEW designer drug alert:
Zannie Air Fresheners.
For more information, click HERE.

The Burden of Excessive Alcohol Use report was just released on March 13, 2013 and it is the first of its kind in Wisconsin to offer a comprehensive look at the costs of alcohol misuse to our state:.

    • The report found that excessive alcohol consumption costs us $6.8 billion a year in Wisconsin.
    • To put that number in context, the state spent about $6.2 billion last year to support our K-12 schools by funding the Department of Public Instruction.
    • If we divide those costs over the population, excessive alcohol consumption costs nearly $1,200 a year per person in Wisconsin, or $4,800 for a family of four.
    • More than 40 percent of the costs of alcohol over-consumption are shouldered by taxpayers, at a price of $2.9 billion a year.

You can view the state burden report online (including county data) at:   http://healthfirstwi.org/alcohol/resources.php

About Us

The S.A.F.E. Grant Coalition is driven to prevent loss like you see in this video.


Read about our History.


  • Kathy Marty – Projects Director – 608-723-1614
  • Peggy Schmitt, DFC Coordinator – 608-537-2002
  • Tonia Wagner - DFC/SUDN Coordinator – 608-348-2322
  • Laura Murphy – Fresh Start Coordinator – 608-723-2157
  • Carol Thole – Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention, Assistant Coordinator – 608-778-7398


  • Jason Artz


See a list of other current committees

Join the Coalition

For information on how to join, contact us.

We have meetings on the 4th Thursday of every odd month (January, March, May, July, September, and November except during holidays), currently in Platteville at the Southwest Health Center (or periodically, the Platteville Police Dept) and in Lancaster at the Grant Regional Health Center at 5 pm. You can also join the committees at any time. Please contact the Projects Director to get involved and check the calendar for meeting locations.

Coalition Programs

Youth Leadership Conference

2013 Dates: July 1-3 at Bethel Horizons, Dodgeville, WI.Contact us for further information.

Annual leadership training for 7th-12th grades that is 2 1/2 days long.  Occurs at Bethel Horizons, Dodgeville, which includes low and high ropes course.  They learn leadership skills, decision-making skills media tactics, issues surrounding youth, and how to take action in their schools and communities. One major component of the conference is an action planning session where the youth determine the issue they want to focus on in their school and then decide how they are going to address it. The youth meet regularly within their schools and then periodically as a whole county group.



Strengthening Families

This program is designed for parents/caregivers and youth ages 10-14 to help families grow together. This program helps parents build on their strengths in showing love and setting limits. It also assists youth develop skills in handling peer pressure and building a positive future. Strengthening Families is brought to you by the Grant County UW-Extension and SAFE Grant County.

Please contact S.A.F.E Grant County Coalition if you are interested in participating in this program.

Prescription Drug Round Ups

A drop off point for people to bring their expired, unused, or unwanted prescription drugs for proper disposal at a licensed drug-disposal facility.  We have collected approximate 650 pounds of prescription drugs since 2008.  Often we do this at Elder Fest and such events.  The purpose is to keep the drugs from youth who sell the pills or use them to get high and to preserve the environment.  If you have drugs to be disposed of, please contact us!

Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention

Find out about the Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention (formerly the Tobacco-Free Coalition) by contacting Carol Thole at  608-778-7398.

SUDN Project (Stop Underage Drinking Now) –Expired 9-29-2012.

Effective Strategies has now been folded into the Drug Free Communities grant.

School Programs

S.A.F.E. does  displays and/or substance abuse prevention presentations for school wellness days.  An example is Seneca School District (Click HERE for a flyer from their March 13, 2013 Wellness Days).

See also Youth Council

Community Education

Public Awareness (Social Norms) Campaigns

These are messages that we have in the media and in use in public broadcast to help shed some myths about alcohol.  These are the slogans which explain themselves:

  • “Parents Who Host Lose the Most”
  • “Start Talking Before they Start Drinking”
  • “Underage Drinking Consequences”
  • “Not Everyone Drinks”

Safety Initiatives

Read about our safety initiatives in the description of the Safe Actions committee.

Fresh Start Program

Read about our Fresh Start Program.

Youth Council

The Grant County Youth Council is a group of youth from the Grant County schools who provide opportunities for youth to make positive contributions toward safer communities by reducing teen alcohol, tobacco and other drug usage and by improving overall teen wellness.  This is accomplished by planning projects, activities, assisting drug-free coalitions and planning the Annual Youth Leadership Conference.  The Grant County Youth Council has hosted fun area pool parties, dances, and bowling parties.

The youth not only help plan, but also attend with other interested students, an annual youth leadership conference where they learn leadership skills, decision-making skills media tactics, issues surrounding youth, and how to take action in their schools and communities.  One major component of the conference is an action planning session where the youth determine the issue they want to focus on in their school and then decide how they are going to address it.  The youth meet regularly within their schools and then periodically as a whole county group.

Please refer to the Youth Leadership Conference program on the Coalition Programs tab for further information.

Youth Development Grants

Fresh Start is a think-tank that develops and supports alternatives to underage drinking and promotes positive youth development.


Fresh Start, through the Roundtable, has joined forces with the S.A.F.E Grant County Coalition (formerly Grant County Drug-Free Coalition) to implement 2 drug-free federal grants.


This program has paid out over $32,200 in grants since 2004



The Roundtable offers youth development grants to financially assist communities and organizations with youth programs. Deadlines for the grant applications are March 1, June 1, September 1 and December 1.


Please click here for a Youth Development Grant application.



Laura Murphy – Roundtable Coordinator

(608) 723-6373


For more information please visit the Fresh Start website.

Legislative/Local Policy Action

These are policy issues that some communities are considering.

If you wish to contact your local legislator to voice your opinion (pro or con) on any policies/issues, you may go to the following website:



Smoke Free Workplaces

Wisconsin is now a smoke-free state!!!! All indoor workplaces are smoke free! This smoking ban also includes some outdoor places such as the County Grandstands in Lancaster. contact us.

Keg registration

All beer kegs would have a tag attached to the keg which would be a number. This number would relate back to the person who purchased the keg. The purpose of keg registration is to deter people from supplying underage drinkers with alcohol. The idea is that when a party would be busted by police, they could confiscate the keg, and trace the keg by the tag on it to the purchaser. The reason for doing this is to keep youth safe because typically kegs are used at large parties where drunk driving occurs afterwards and a high amount of alcohol is consumed because kegs are cheap. This is often a win-win situation for retailers because they are more likely to get their kegs back and liability may be reduced for them. The purchaser of the keg would sign an agreement saying they agree not to provide to a minors and understand the ramifications. WI is one of the few states that does not have a law of this type in place.

Increase alcohol tax

Read about the proposal to Increase the alcohol tax.

Sobriety check points

Sobriety checkpoints or roadblocks that involve law enforcement officials stopping every vehicle (or more typically, every nth vehicle) on a public roadway and investigating the possibility that the driver might be too impaired to drive. They are often set up late at night or in the very early morning hours and on weekends, at which time the proportion of impaired drivers tends to be the highest.

With a portable and quick alcohol breath test, the police can test all drivers, and process the cars one by one as in a conveyor belt. When there is no quick test, a more complicated routine is necessary. Upon suspicion, the stopped driver is required to exit the vehicle and take a roadside sobriety test that requires the demonstration of both mental and balance skills. If the officer determines that the test has not been passed, the driver is then required to take an alcohol breath test.

Mandatory interlock car devices

The concept is that this law would require anyone convicted of DUI / DWI will be required to use an ignition interlock device. The device prevents the vehicle from starting if the driver doesn’t supply a breath sample with an acceptable alcohol level. For Illinois drivers, that level will be .05 percent BAC. Many accused DUI / DWI drivers aren’t aware that ignition interlock devices can be useful tools when fighting a drunk driving charge. Using an ignition interlock device voluntarily after a DUI / DWI arrest demonstrates to the court that you’re serious about preventing any future incidents of drinking and driving.

Mandatory suspension of teen licenses

This law would make it a mandatory sentence of removal of teen licenses for teens who have been charged with driving while under the influence.

Community Assessments

The purpose of the Grant County community assessment is to provide insight to drug, alcohol, tobacco, and other crime trends in the county in order to better target services and to make the community a safer place.


Calendar of Events


  • State Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (SCAODA)

Kathy Marty, S.A.F.E. Grant County Coalition Project Director, was appointed in August 2006 and is currently serving on this SCAODA committee to address prevention issues regarding alcohol and other drug abuse within Wisconsin. This committee also acts in an advisory capacity to the SPF SIG (Strategic Prevention Framework-State Incentive Grant) Project.

  • Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America (CADCA)

Our coalition is a member of this organization, which is a national membership organization representing coalitions working to make America’s communities safe, healthy, and drug-free.  It is also committed to strengthening the coalition field through training and technical assistance, conferences, and special events, media strategies and marketing initiatives. In February 2007, during the CADCA Forum in Washington D .C.,  our coalition was presented  with a graduate certificate for successful completion of the essential elements of the year-long CADCA’s National Coalition Academy.

  • Alliance for Wisconsin Youth (AWY)

Our coalition is a member of this organization and its mission is to support and enhance the capacity of coalitions in their substance abuse prevention and positive youth development efforts.  The Alliance is a program of the WI Department of Health Services, Bureau of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery (BPTR).  Over 100 local coalitions, including the S.A.F.E. Grant County Coalition, are members of the Alliance.  In order to implement its mission, in July 2007, the Alliance for WI Youth State Office initiated the development of Regional Prevention Centers to provide an organizational structure to accomplish mutual prevention priorities and projects.  The Southern Regional Alliance for Wisconsin Youth covers our region and has “alcohol-free youth” as its specific vision.

  • Wisconsin Prevention Network (WPN)

Our coalition is a member of this organization, which is a statewide (Wisconsin) membership association of individuals and organizations working together to assure human and financial resources for prevention and wellness.





This website was developed [in part] under a grant number SPO11336 from the Office of National Drug Control Policy and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The views, policies, and opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ONDCP, SAMHSA or HHS.

Contact Us/Get Involved

S.A.F.E. Grant County Coalition
111 S. Jefferson St.
Lancaster, WI 53813


Kathy Marty, Projects Director:  608-723-1614 kmarty@co.grant.wi.gov

Peggy Schmitt, DFC Coordinator: 608-537-2002

Tonia Wagner, DFC/SUDN Coordinator:  608-348-2322

Laura Murphy, Coordinator, Roundtable and Fresh Start:  608-723-2157

Carol Thole, Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention Coordinator:  608-778-7398

Chair, Jason Artz:  jartz1982@yahoo.com


To join any committees, contact us!

Promotions/Sustainability (Ad Hoc)

Coordinates all promotional needs and projects and plans and holds fundraising events to sustain the work of the coalition. Current projects include utilizing all media to spread the word about the coalition, create welcome packets and plan year’s fundraising calendar.

Safe Actions

This committee is all about safe driving initiatives. Currently they have partnered with Southwest WI Technical College’s driver education program to provide direct information to the parents about the consequences of drinking and driving and supplying alcohol to their youth. In addition, to the public awareness, parents can lease a Car chip to monitor their teen’s driving behaviors. To address seat belt usage, they have partnered with the Grant County Sheriff’s Dept. to do simulation presentations to all the high schools with a seat belt demonstrator. They also support Southern Grant Road Crew and will be starting a drunk driving task force.

Tobacco Free Coalition ( now the Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention

This group initiates and implements tobacco related policies and ordinances, as well as providing education in tobacco prevention. The First Breath (a cessation program for pregnant moms) is offered through this coalition. FACT (Fight Against Corporate Tobacco) offers youth an opportunity to make a difference within their schools and communities to offer policies to combat tobacco use and the Big Tobacco companies as they target our youth. Tobacco Free Coalition page.


This committee is made up of the staff and the committee chairs and together they monitor, oversee, and direct the work of the coalition while ensuring all grant funding sources requirements’ are being met. Currently their focus is on the renewal of the federal grant which is for a new cycle of money for the next 5 years. It is a very stiff competition.

Parent/Community Education Committee

This committee is responsible for educating parents, community members, stakeholders, and others about alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. They hold annual community suppers, public awareness campaigns, host various displays at events, and do presentations at schools. Currently they are working on many of the SUDN initiatives.

Fresh Start

This committee oversees the Fresh Start program and reviews and approves youth development grants.


See Legislative/Local Policy Action page.

Southwest Alliance for Tobacco Prevention

TATU (Teens Against Tobacco Use)

The purpose of T.A.T.U. is to train teens to use their commitment and skills as tobacco-free teens with younger children so that the younger children will make healthy choices to stay tobacco-free and will be advocates for tobacco-control in their communities. This is a teen drug-prevention program.

NOT (Not On Tobacco)

The American Lung Association’s Not On Tobacco (N-O-T) is a premier smoking cessation/reduction program for high school youth. The authors and collaborators have made every effort to ensure the accuracy and appropriateness of the materials, information, and techniques in the program. They have also done extensive research on program results, which have been impressive. Locally, we have offered it several times, always having youth report they have reduced their use and/or quit all together.

FACT (Fight Against Corporate Tobacco)

FACT is a youth-led movement that takes action and creates change. We do it by exposing Big Tobacco’s dirty secrets and deceptive practices. By empowering Wisconsin teens to stand up to an industry that’s lying to us. And by understanding that FACT’s fight is with the tobacco industry, not smokers. We all have to make our own decision. FACT just wants it to be an informed one. Contact us to join the local FACT group.

School and Community Presentations (see also: Community Education)

Note: if your school does not have these programs and you would like to, please contact us and we’ll be happy to assist you in getting them going.

Combined tobacco and alcohol compliance checks (see also: SUDN)

Grant County conducts both tobacco and alcohol compliance checks in a coordinated effort so it appears to retailers they are being done at the same time. This method increases the results of retailers checking for id’s as they don’t know which product they will be checked for or when. This also gives us the opportunity to do year long checks, also increasing the non sales rate. Tobacco checks are funded through the WINS program of Wisconsin and alcohol checks are funded by the WI Department of Transportation. Both are also funded through the Drug-Free Coalition at the Grant County Health Department. The Sheriff’s Department trains the minors and together the officers and minors conduct the checks. Students who are between the ages of 16-18 are welcome to call Carol Thole at (608) 723-1624 if interested in conducting the tobacco checks. Students between the ages of 18-21 are encouraged to inquire about the alcohol checks with Tonia Wagner at (608) 348-2322.

Smoke Free Workplace Campaigns

Fresh Start Program

Fresh Start is a risk-reduction educational program for offenders of underage drinking. The program uses the curriculum, Prime for Life Under 21, from the Kentucky Prevention Research Institute. Prime for Life is a program designed to gently, but powerfully, challenge common beliefs and attitudes that directly contribute to high-risk alcohol and drug use. The content, process, and sequence of Prime for Life are carefully developed to achieve both prevention and intervention goals. The program goals are:

  • to reduce problems caused by high-risk drinking or drug use;
  • to reduce the risk for long-term health problems and short-term impairment problems;
  • to help people successfully protect the things they value.

Participants learn who can experience alcohol or drug problems, how to estimate biological risk, how to know what low risk is, and which phase of use they are in. Based on persuasion-based teaching, instructors utilize a variety of teaching approaches, including interactive presentations and small group discussions. Participants use workbooks throughout the course to complete a number of individual and group activities. Material is presented using a DVD platform with animation, full-motion video clips, and audio clips to enhance the presentation.

Fresh Start is for 13-21 year olds who are cited with underage drinking offenses. When cited, the officer gives the youth a brochure that has a registration form. The youth has to complete the form and send it in with the program fee within 10 days of receiving their citation. The program is a 12-hour program usually broken into 4 weeks, one night a week for 3 hours. Classes are held in Lancaster and Platteville.

For a brochure and a registration form, click here.

In order to pass the program, the youth needs to attend all the classes, be on time, actively participate, and pass the tests with a 70% or better score. In addition, the youth can not re-offend before, during or within one year of passing the program or before turning 21, whichever occurs first. If youth are 16 and under, a parent and/or guardian need to attend the third night of class with their youth. If the youth passes, the underage drinking citation is voided and is not on their driving or court record. If they should not pass the program, then normal court proceedings are followed. If the youth should re-offend, then both citations will go to court and be processed as two underage drinking citations.

Since the start of the program, March 2002, 1,700 youth have received underage drinking citations. Of those, 1,060 have chosen to take the program and have successfully passed. Of those who have participated in the program, they have reported a change in their knowledge of risk and have made changes to their current drinking patterns.

The Prime for Life program can be used in schools, in communities as parent and youth programs, on college campuses, and can be used in court diversion program.

For further information about Prime for Life and Prevention Research Institute, go to http://www.askpri.org.

If interested in implementing a similar successful program in your area, contact us.

The Story of the SAFE Grant County Coalition

Once upon a time in Grant County, there were three coalitions who did wonderful work. There was the Safe Communities coalition, which focused on seatbelt awareness, child passenger safety, drunk driving, and underage drinking. There was another coalition, the Roundtable, which focused on reducing underage drinking and promoting positive youth development. There was also the Tobacco-Free coalition, which focused on preventing/reducing tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. These coalitions often worked together as they planned youth leadership conferences, assisted local youth groups, did compliance checks together, and the list went on.

One day in 2004, there was an announcement of a grant for $100,000. Since these coalitions were already working together on multiple substance abuse prevention fronts, they realized that they could apply for the grant due to its multi-drug focus. Since they were applying for funding from the Drug Free Communities (DFC) Support program and they needed to keep their name broad enough to encompass all of their objectives, they called themselves the Grant County Drug Free Coalition. To their amazement, they received the $100,000 Drug Free Communities Support Program grant for five years (for a total of $500,000) as they were able to meet their grant goals and objectives. In 2009, they reapplied for the DFC grant and once again, were able to receive this highly competitive national grant for another five years, this time $125,000 per year. In 2008, the coalition’s name was changed to S.A.F.E Grant County Coalition to better reflect all the aspects of the coalition. In addition, in 2008, the coalition wrote and successfully obtained a very competitive four-year STOP grant (entitled Stop Underage Drinking Now or SUDN) to further their work in alcohol abuse prevention and compliment the efforts of the DFC grant. S.A.F.E stands for Safe Actions For Everyone. The three original coalition’s work is still being done in the combined coalition along with many new initiatives. See further links for specifics about programs and projects.

Increase alcohol tax

This bill increases the tax on malt beverages (2.4 cents a 12 ounce bottle) to fund alcohol and drug treatment and prevention programs.

How low is the Wisconsin beer tax?

  • The Wisconsin beer tax was created in 1933 (at $1 a barrel).
    • It has only been raised once to $2.00 a barrel in 1969 (38 years later)
    • If increased to inflation from 1933, it would be $16.12 a barrel
    • If increased by inflation from 1969, it would be $10.85 a barrel
    • The Berceau proposal is $10 a barrel
    • It has been 38 years since the last increase!
  • Wisconsin’s beer tax has lost 83% of its value due to inflation since 1969
  • Wisconsin has the third lowest beer tax in the nation (6.5¢ per gallon)(3.6¢ a six-pack) (0.6¢ a 12-ounce bottle)
    • Second lowest: Missouri (6¢ per gallon) (headquarters of Anheuser-Busch)
    • Lowest: Wyoming (1.9¢ per gallon)
  • Our neighboring states charge two to three times more
    • Illinois: 19¢ per gallon
    • Minnesota: 15¢
    • Indiana: 12¢
    • Michigan: 20¢

Is the Wisconsin beer tax a hardship for beer producers?

  • The great majority of Wisconsin beer producers pay very little in state beer tax
    • 79% of all beer producers in Wisconsin pay between $0 and $5,000 annually in state beer tax
    • 64% of Wisconsin beer producers pay less than $1,000 annually in state beer tax
    • Only 4 out of 66 beer producers in Wisconsin pay more than $100,000 in annual state beer taxes. (Miller alone pays over a $1 million)
  • Over 92% of all beer producers in Wisconsin pay only half ($1.00 a barrel) of the Wisconsin beer tax (because they produce less than 50,000 barrels a year)
    • Only Miller is taxed entirely at the full $2.00 a barrel tax
    • Leinenkugel, Pabst, New Glarus and Mike’s Lemonade are taxes at a combination of the 50% and 100% rate
  • Only 31% of all beer produced in Wisconsin is taxed at all!
    • 69% is exported Wisconsin tax free (5.9 million barrels exported of 8.5 million barrels produced)
  • Miller, alone, generated 77% of all of our beer tax revenue from in-state producers
  • The top four, Leinenkugel, Miller, Pabst and Mike’s Lemonade account for 95% of all of our revenue from in-state producers

What is the Berceau proposal?

  • The Berceau proposal is to raise the state beer tax from $2.00 a barrel to $10 a barrel
    • If the beer tax was increased by inflation from 1969, it would be $10.85 a barrel
  • In easy to understand terms, the Berceau proposal would add only 2.4¢ to each bottle of beer
    • Or, from the current 0.6¢ a 12-ounce bottle, to 3¢ a bottle
    • It would raise the state tax from the current, 3.6¢ a six-pack to 18¢ a six pack
  • The current state beer tax raised $9.7 million in FY2005-06
  • The Berceau proposal would raise our revenue to approximately $50 million

Will a Wisconsin beer tax increase be hardship for drinkers?

  • The average drinker will not even feel the effect of an increase
    • Beer producers are not concerned about the “average” drinker
    • They know that most of their revenue comes from price-insensitive heavy drinkers
    • 10% of all drinkers consumer 43% of all beer
    • 20% of all drinker consumer 85% of all beer
  • Even for a heavy drinker who consumes a six pack a day, the Berceau increase would only cost you an additional $1 a week
  • Heavy and addicted drinkers who account for most of the beer consumption in the U.S. rightly pay the most in beer taxes, since their drinking imposes the greatest cost on society
  • If a 3¢ per bottle tax causes you a financial burden, you have greater problems to worry about than the beer tax
  • The moderate-drinking majority of drinkers consume relatively little alcohol and pay a negligible amount of alcohol taxes
  • Alcoholic beverages are cheaper (25% less after adjusting for inflation) today than they were in the 1960s and 1970s. (Institute of Medicine, National Research Council)

How bad is Wisconsin’s drinking problem

  • The alcohol industry is financially dependent upon underage and pathological drinking
    • Nationwide, 37.6% of alcohol (by cost) was misused or illegally consumed ($48.3 billion)
    • Another study put it as high as 48.8%
  • Wisconsin ranks 4th highest per capita for alcohol consumption from beer (Nevada, New Hampshire and Montana rank higher)
  • Wisconsin is listed among the “Fatal Fifteen” states for the highest underage drinking deaths by the National Safety Board
  • Over 60,000 Wisconsin residents receive publicly funded alcohol treatment
  • Over 44,000 OWIs and PACs (prohibited alcohol content) violations in Wisconsin in 2006
  • 6,000 alcohol-related driving injuries in Wisconsin in 2005
  • 369 alcohol-related driving fatalities in Wisconsin in 2005
  • Alcohol is related to the crimes of about half of Wisconsin’s 22,000 prisoners
  • 70% of our 22,000 prisoners require alcohol or substance abuse treatment

Who pays the beer tax?

The beer tax is paid by:

  • Wisconsin breweries on all sales made in Wisconsin.
  • The Wisconsin wholesaler who imports beer into Wisconsin from a foreign country.
  • The out-of-state shipper who ships beer into Wisconsin from other states.

Is any beer exempt from the beer tax?

No Wisconsin beer tax is due on the following:

  • Beer furnished by a brewer to employees without charge on brewery premises.
  • Beer which contains less than 0.5% alcohol by volume.
  • Beer shipped to other states or foreign countries.
  • Beer sold to industrial permittees for use in food items.

How much does it cost?

  • The $9.7 million raised by the state beer tax last year covered only a fraction of treatment costs
  • That doesn’t even include the $825 million in annual alcohol-related heath care costs that get passed along to Wisconsin taxpayers
  • It doesn’t count the estimated $2.7 billion in state:
    • Policing and court costs
    • Incarceration costs
    • Traffic crash costs
    • Lost productivity costs
    • Academic failure costs
    • Premature death costs
  • Each Wisconsin resident pays only $1.82 a year in beer taxes
  • But also $18.64 in alcohol treatment costs
  • … and $154 in alcohol-related healthcare costs
  • … and $500 in alcohol-related criminal justice and societal costs
  • Alcohol abuse and addiction cost the nation an estimated $220 billion in 2005
    • …more than cancer ($196 billion)
    • …and more than obesity ($133 billion)