Argo: Call legislators, oppose direct wine bill

Published 9:42 am Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Alabama Beverage Control Board representatives on Tuesday asked members of the Children’s Policy Council Coalition to encourage local legislators to vote against a bill allowing shipment of wine to Alabama residents.

Dean Argo, government relations manager for the ABC Board, said that the direct shipment bill would essentially create a new license for out-of-state wines.

Earlier this month, the Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committed OK’d a substitute version of a bill to create the new license.

SB329 is sponsored by Bill Holtzclaw, R- Madison.

According to the bill, there is currently no specific license from the ABC Board relating to direct shipping of limited quantities of wine to state residents for their personal use.

This bill would allow a currently licensed wine producer, supplier, importer, wholesaler, distributor, or retailer to obtain a wine direct shipper license from the ABC Board to allow them to ship limited quantities directly to Alabama residents for their personal use.

Businesses with the direct ship license could ship up to 24 cases of wine annually to a 21-year-old resident of Alabama for his or her personal use. The bill defines a case as 9 liters or less of wine. The license would cost $100 with a $50 annual renewal.

Argo said that there is no way to verify that the person ordering is 21 or older.

“You have to sign for it,” he said. “But, they could get their big brother or next door neighbor to sign for it.”

Argo argued that is dismantles the state’s three-tier system, which consists of a manufacturer, distributor and retailer.

“They all have to be separate here,” he said. “If you see your local legislators, please tell them you are opposed.”

According to the state legislature’s website, Holtzclaw’s bill has been read a second time in the house of origin – the Senate.


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