How does the idea of an increase in Texas' "beer tax" sit with you?

It's fair to assume those most people are not in favor of any kind of tax increase, but one group thinks increasing the excise tax on beer is a good idea.

Stop DWI, based in Midland, thinks that if the tax on beer were raised by even a nickel, it would lead to less beer consumption and an additional $315 million in revenue for the state. That money could be used for infrastructure improvements, more state troopers or local law enforcement patrolmen or anti-drunk drunk driving campaigns.

The group reports that Texans consume more beer per capita than do residents of any other state and also claim that there are more alcohol-related traffic deaths in Texas than anywhere else in the U.S.

If those statistics are true (and we are not sure that they are, since many groups report numbers that are similar but not quite the same) then it seems that we have a pretty significant problem when it comes to drinking too much and driving.

However, experts don't agree that raising taxes controls behavior. Cigarettes are heavily taxed, for instance, and data from across the country is mixed as to whether increasing the "sin tax" levied on tobacco actually results in fewer people using it.

What are your thoughts on this issue? On the one hand, times are tight and people don't have a lot of money to spare for tax increases on anything. Then again, are some tax increases justified by the possible social good they could effect?

Source: KOSA-TV, "Stop DWI Pushes for Beer Tax in Texas," Oct. 28, 2012