Recently, a national liquor store chain, Total Wine and More, decided to ignore Connecticut's minimum price law. They set prices on several items below the required minimum and advertised the new practice. Shortly thereafter, another liquor store announced they would follow suit. Faced with blatant defiance of state law, an investigation was launched and a settlement reached. Total Wine agreed to pay the state $37,500 and cease advertising and selling below the state minimum.
This incident raises two issues: the importance of law compliance and the public health rationale for pricing measures.
It should be clear that individual companies cannot pick and choose the laws they want to follow. Should that occur, our system of liquor control would be weakened and law defiance could become widespread. This situation appeared to be moving in that direction when the second company quickly followed to defy the price law.