New Hampshire Governor Maggie Hassan (D) has reportedly vetoed a bill seeking to allow alcohol beverage labels to depict minors as long as the advertising is not intended to promote underage alcohol consumption. Introduced by Rep. Keith Murphy (R-Hillsborough), the measure (H.B. 122) would have struck language from the state’s rules on alcohol beverage advertising that prohibits “any reference to minors, pictorial or otherwise.”
Although Murphy pointed to several labeling designs that use images of children or babies but do not promote underage consumption, New Hampshire Liquor Commission Director of Enforcement and Licensing James Wilson opposed the revision on the grounds that it obscures the agency’s “bright line standard” for labeling. As Hassan argued, “Substance misuse, including alcohol misuse, continues to be one of the major public health and safety challenges facing us as a state. Moreover, statistics suggest that New Hampshire has among the highest rates of underage drinking in the country.” See Associated Press, June 3, 2015.