Arizona Debate Over Internet Alcohol Sales

Reason has an interesting post up, detailing the fight between Arizona’s wineries — who want to be able to sell cases of wine directly over the Internet to anyone in the country — and Arizona alcohol wholesalers, who want the sale of alcohol on the Internet banned altogether.

The real reason Arizona’s alcohol wholesalers are raising a fuss is pretty transparent: they’re the middleman and they don’t want to be cut out. However, they are bringing out two old chestnuts to fight the wineries. They claim that sale of bulk alcohol over the Internet will drive Mom-and-Pop liquor stores out of business. Also, it will allow children to illegally obtain liquor.

We’re frankly skeptical that online liquor sales will put Mom & Pop stores out of business. When you have some friends over for some beers, or have a date that requires a special bottle of wine, you tend not to log-on to the Internet and wait a week for the booze to arrive. This service is clearly aimed at more upscale alcohol purchasers.

As for the tired old “think of the children” trope, Reason makes the point that not many teenagers are interested in buying cases of wine, or have a credit card to do so. This is true, but what if they did? Isn’t it clear that part of the reason young Americans drink so irresponsibly is precisely because of the taboo of consuming alcohol if you are under 21 and that the only way a teenager can drink is outside of the supervision of adults… oftentimes in their cars? Not to go macro on you guys here, but allowing young adults to drink alcohol isn’t the evil: it’s allowing them to drink unsupervised. Like sex, if we were truly thinking of the children, we’d teach them to drink and fuck safely and responsibly — not teach them it was rebellious to do so at all.

Link: Cut It Out, Middlemen

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  1. Bubba Barney says:

    ‘Not to go macro on you guys here, but allowing young adults to drink alcohol isn’t the evil: it’s allowing them to drink unsupervised. Like sex, if we were truly thinking of the children, we’d teach them to drink and fuck safely and responsibly – not teach them it was rebellious to do so at all.’

    You must be one of those blue staters. I agree though.

  2. AcidReign says:

    …..I have to laugh a little. I live in a state where all liquor is sold by a state-run agency. In recent years, a very few “package stores” have been granted resale licenses, but they must buy their stock through the Alcholic Beverage Control Board, and pay retail. So, they’re as high priced as the bootleggers! I can assure you that the “mom ‘n’ pop” liquor stores in this state would love to have the option of competing against bulk internet alchohol sales!

    …..Shipping alchohol in through the mails in Alabama is thoroughly illegal, and most online companies are kind enough to inform you when you try to complete an order.

    …..We have the highest percentage of “dry” counties in the nation, and there are still “blue laws” preventing Sunday alchohol sales in most areas. And yet, we still manage to lead the nation in many alchoholism-related stats!

    …..The whole head-in-the-sand thing does not work. People will go to any length to get their booze, drugs, and entertainment. Vain attempts to control this are a waste of taxpayer dollars.

  3. OkiMike says:

    If using a credit card online is “proof of age” to view porn, then it should suffice for alcohol purchases.

    I could also argue that mom-and-pop places make it easier for underage kids who show a fake ID to purchase alcohol. At least if it’s a package arriving in the mail, mom and dad might be more likely to notice.