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AGO 1953 No. 149 - October 15, 1953
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Don Eastvold | 1953-1956 | Attorney General of Washington

LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD ‑- POWERS OF THE LIQUOR CONTROL BOARD. 

May the Liquor Control Board employ persons to make scientific study and research relating to alcoholic beverages, and the use and effect thereof? 

CONCLUSION:  The Liquor Control Board does have such power. 

                                                              - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

                                                                October 15, 1953 

Honorable Evro M. Becket
Chairman
Washington State Liquor Control Board
Olympia, Washington                                                                                                              Cite as:  AGO 53-55 No. 149 

Dear Sir: 

            In answer to your question submitted on October 5, 1953, by which you ask our opinion as to whether or not the Washington State Liquor Control Board may employ persons to make scientific study and research relating to alcoholic beverages and the use and effect thereof, it is our opinion that the Washington State Liquor Control Board may employ persons for such purpose. 

                                                                     ANALYSIS 

            In order to ascertain whether or not the Washington State Liquor Control Board may employ persons to make a scientific study and research relating to alcoholic beverages and the use and effect thereof, we must consider the original liquor act enacted by the legislature of 1933, special session, and amendments thereto. 

            Section 2 of Chapter 62, Laws of 1933, Ex. Sess., RCW 66.08.010, is as follows: 

            "This entire title shall be deemed an exercise of the police power of the state, for the protection of the welfare, health, peace, morals, and safety of the people  [[Orig. Op. Page 2]] of the state, and all its provisions shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of that purpose." 

            Section 79 (2) of Chapter 62, Laws of 1933, Ex. Sess., RCW 66.08.040, provides amongst other things: 

            "Without thereby limiting the generality of the provisions contained in subsection 1, it is declared that the power of the board to make regulations in the manner set out in that section shall extend to

 

            "* * *

            "(25) prescribing methods of manufacture, conditions of sanitation, standards of ingredients, quality, and identity of alcoholic beverages manufactured, sold, bottled, or handled by licensees and the board; and conducting from time to time, in the interest of the public health and general welfare, scientific studies and research relating to alcoholic beverages and the use and effect thereof;

 

            "* * *." 

            It is to be noted that subsection 25 above provides for the doing of two acts.  The latter act, with reference to scientific studies, is either limited to such studies being made in connection with manufacture, conditions of sanitation, standards of ingredients, or the section is disjunctive and studies may be made in connection with theuse and effect of alcoholic beverages, in phases other than methods of manufacture, conditions of sanitation, standards of ingredients, etc.  This is a matter of first impression in this state and requires a rather thorough study of the general provisions of the Liquor Act. 

            A consideration has to be given to the intent of the legislature in enacting this, as well as the enactment of section 2 of the original act, RCW 66.08.010.  Section 2 of the original act, RCW 66.08.010, states that the act (Washington State Liquor Act) "* * * shall be deemed an exercise of the police power of the state, for the protection of the welfare, health, peace, morals, and safety of the people of the state and all its provisions shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of that purpose."  The second sentence of Section 25 uses some of the same language ‑ "* * * in the interest of the public health and general welfare  [[Orig. Op. Page 3]] * * *" certain things can be done.  Following the rule set forth in paragraph 2 of the original act, RCW 66.08.010, and construing this section liberally, we can come to no other conclusion but that the Board has the power to employ persons to make scientific studies and research relating to alcoholic beverages and the use and effect thereof.  To do otherwise would be to do violence to the legislative direction that the Liquor Act is to be liberally construed for the protection of welfare, health, peace, morals, and safety of the people of the state. 

            It is a very patent fact that such a study would have to be made by men of special training and special talents and could not be undertaken by any Board member, or a man who was not trained in such endeavor.  Accordingly, it seems clear that if a scientific study is to be made it must be made by men qualified, and it is our opinion that the Board has the power to employ persons to make such study, after adopting and filing a regulation undertaking such study. 

Very truly yours, 

DON EASTVOLD
Attorney General 

FRED C. DORSEY
Assistant Attorney General

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