The state-run liquor business is a testy topic these days, pitting the government against the drunks. Washington State really, really likes the income it gets from its monopoly on the booze market, whereas drinkers hate the artificially high prices and lack of grocery store availability for the hard stuff.
And of course, there are those poor souls trapped in the middle, who don't really care, but just realized they ran out of whiskey, but it's Sunday evening, so, like the Puritans before them, they can't get drunk.
Regardless of which side of the bottle you fall on, the Washington Policy Center has done some number crunching, and it's a fact: Washington State has the second lowest availability of liquor per resident in the region. The only state that has fewer boozeries per capita in the wild west?
Squeaky-clean, booze-frowning-up, practically-dry Utah.
According to the WPC's report, there are only 328 liquor stores in the entire state -- which is just one liquor store for every 20,502 people.
The report comes in light of Initiative 1183's approaching judgment day, which, in November, will give voters the opportunity to opt into private liquor sales (and out of the governments sobriety-loving pocket). It would also actually, according to the Office of Financial Management, increase the state's income each year -- they'd still be collecting taxes, but wouldn't have to pay to staff, ship and run liquor stores. Passing I-1183 would bump the number of sauce shops up to over 1,400 total, or around one for every 4,700 people.
Wyoming, by the way, has one per every 765 people.