Pennsylvania, a land ruled by the draconian “Liquor Control Board,” may allow wine vending machines with “fingerprints and biometric readings” for age verification to be placed in grocery stores so that people can finally buy wine at the supermarket. What the hell is wrong with Pennsylvania?[Dr. Vino ]


Edit Your Comment

  1. laserjobs says:

    Oh I hope they put Thunderbird, MD 20/20, Night Train and Cisco in them.

    YEAH!!! Time to party!!!

  2. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Yes, but you go down to the ‘beer distributor’ to buy beer in bulk and save!!
    Although, not on Sundays in most boroughs.
    I’ll meet yins at the Clark Bar.

  3. m4ximusprim3 says:

    wait, so do you have to have your fingerprint in a database to purchase alcohol?

    Or can a 10 year old with gigantism buy booze?

  4. homerjay says:

    Those punk-ass underage wino’s. We’ll get them yet! They’ll never get their hands on our Pinot!

  5. Tightlines says:

    What the hell is wrong with Pennsylvania?

    There are so many answers to that question.

    I’d still rather be here than Jersey, though.

  6. theblackdog says:

    Does it drop it into a brown paper bag for you?

  7. Pithlit says:

    At least they’re going to allow it. You still can’t buy wine at a grocery store here in Tennessee. You can’t buy anything alcoholic at the grocery on Sunday.

  8. If the cops or Homeland Security wanted a database of the general public’s biometric data, many people would be wary of giving it and decry the move as Orwellian or something similiar. I’m curious to see how many people are willing to feed them into a database for easy wine sales. And yes, those prints would go to law enforcement, i.e. IAFIS, so Keystone Staters who like convenient booze and dan’t wear gloves committing crimes, be wary!

  9. donkeyjote says:

    In other news, CSI and Mythbusters has become illegal to watch, own or distribute, as it has become a criminal tool aiding in the buying of alcohol for minors……

  10. rickhamilton620 says:

    @Tightlines: Agreed :)

  11. MsCongeniality says:

    Reminds me of the time we asked where we could buy a bottle of wine in Somerset, PA and the owner of the hotel began to tell us about how we were in a dry county. Our only response was, “Umm…you are aware that there is a bar across the street from your hotel, right?”

  12. goodywitch says:

    I’m so confused, whatever happened to checking ID when you pay?

  13. the_wiggle says:

    @Bay State Darren: So not want. Sneaky back-door option for them tho’

  14. xand83 says:

    @Pithlit: That’s not true. You can buy beer at the grocery store in TN on Sunday after 12pm. Just not wine. That’s only for the liquor stores to sell for some strange reason….

  15. Asvetic says:

    I hope this is the flickering of the powder as it burns down the fuse. There are a million issues with the LBC in PA, and every chip in there veneer will eventually break down the monopoly that is the State Store.

    God to think this is all happening in my lifetime.

  16. @the_wiggle: Well right now I’m a crim. justice student [finally graduating this month, yay!] and most of my instructors are cops or ex-cops. Trust me: if they had access to the fingerprints of the local winos not yet in the system, they’d use it [or more properly, the Crime Lab would] in their investigations, no question about it.

  17. @Bay State Darren: Couldn’t they just follow them around and collect their empties? A lot easier IMHO, and doesn’t involve the whole infrastructure to make wine vending machines.

  18. parvax says:

    Maybe they’ll put six-packs in the vending machines too, since they deny us those in this stupid godforsaken state. Oh, but its totally cool to blow cigarette smoke in a baby’s face in cracker barrel.

  19. thejynxed says:

    Yeah, this state sucks ass. I have to drive up to New York just to buy beer sometimes, because the distributors are closed. Also, the limited choices Pennsylvanians have for liquor/wine products is also appalling. Walking around in a State Store trying to find that really good stuff you had on vacation in California or anyplace OTHER than PA that has sane liquor laws, is a chore.

  20. rachaeljean says:

    I was on vacation in Massacdusettes a little over a year ago. We were there for my sister-in-law’s wedding. On the morning of the big day, I ran to the local grocer’s… I think it was a Kroger?… and was on a mad dash for champagne so we could have mimosas while we did her hair and makeup. I couldn’t find it, and asked a near-by bag boy where the wine was… and he looked at me like I’d just drowned a bag of baby kittens! Ha! I felt like such a harlot, lulz.

  21. Peeved Guy says:

    I tried to explain the concept of State Stores and Beer Distributors to my friends from other states once I joined the military. The general agreement was that PA was somewhat backward. I then went on to explain that the exits on the highways were sequentially numbers rather than corresponding to the mile marker closest to the exit (combined with the 55 speed limit) and the overwhelming consensus was that PA was the most f’ed up in the union.

  22. Not Alvis says:

    @Peeved Guy:
    I grew up in PA, so I still think it’s weird in other states when I see highways with exits numbered up in the 100s, but came of drinking age while at university in MD, so I’m always shocked by how retarded things are whenever visiting home.

  23. defectivesealion says:

    @Peeved Guy: when was the last time you were actually in PA? They moved to mile marker exit numbers years ago (unlike NY, where I go to school) and the max speed limit is 65mph. Though I agree the LCB is messed up.

  24. donkeyjote says:

    @rachaeljean: You should. Just imagine the thoughts you invoked on that poor boy, of you, and liqour, and harloting….

    I’ll stop now…

  25. boomerang86 says:

    I’m in NY state, and on a previous trip to California I was flabbergasted that they sold wine AND spirits in the supermarkets!!

  26. @Peeved Guy: They don’t travel enough; plenty of states have some variation on Alcohol Control Boards. In NC, you could buy wine and beer at the supermarket, but you had to go to the ABC store for hard liquor (and, being run by the government, they were NEVER EVER OPEN during convenient shopping hours), and there was no such thing as, like, a “wine superstore.”

    Virginia also had some form of ABC but my husband usually did the shopping when we were there. Indiana you can buy your liquor at normal places, but there’s a cutoff at like 2 a.m. (until 6 a.m., and I totally had a roommate who was such an alcoholic she’d camp out at the 24-hour from when the bars closed at 2 until the alcohol part of the store opened at 6 so she could get her breakfast liquor) and no buying any kind of alcohol on Sunday.

    Anyway, I’m just glad to be back in the midwest where I can buy my liquor and my cauliflower at the same time. Or I can go visit my parents and we can take all the seats out of the minivan and do a stock-up trip to [] in Chicago. (Last time they raised the liquor tax in Illinois, my parents and all their friends ALL took the back seats out of their minivans and SUVs and caravaned to Sam’s and FILLED THEM ALL before the tax went up. COOLEST. ADULTS. EVER.) Or I can take toddlers to the bar as long as I don’t give them beer.

  27. bonzombiekitty says:

    @Peeved Guy: Huh? PA highway exits are numbered by mile marker, and have been for at least 6 years. In fact, PA is the only state that I’ve ever been in that does this (or that I’ve noticed). I think it’s brilliant.

  28. bonzombiekitty says:

    @thejynxed: You are, supposedly, able to get the store to order just about anything you want. So while it might not be on the shelf, you should be able to get it.

    That won’t help if you’re looking for a particular wine for dinner tonight though.

  29. bonzombiekitty says:

    @bonzombiekitty: To add —

    I drive mostly around NJ, PA, NY, CT, and occasionally MA. PA is the only one I’ve noticed that uses the mile markers.

  30. Chairman-Meow says:

    @rachaeljean: Ahhh yes, Our beloved state of Massachusetts and the Liquor laws.

    For Grocery Stores to carry Beer & Wine, the rules only allow 3 stores in an entire chain to carry. They cannot sell on Sundays even though Normal Liquor Stores are open.

    We’ve been trying to get that one repealed for years with little success. Hell, we just got the Sunday Liquor law repealed only a few years ago. That one’s been on the books since we were a Colony of the Brititsh Empire.

  31. FreeMarketGravy says:

    I was staying at a mountain cabin in NE PA a few months ago (for the first time) and wanted to buy a bottle of vodka just to chill out & share with the people I was staying with.

    I think I’ve felt less persecuted, suspected and overall “dirty” in an adult bookstore than I did in a Pennsylvania liquor store.

  32. smoothtom says:

    Aw, my home state. I love it and miss it. That said, I don’t miss the PLCB. When I moved to Ohio five years ago and found beer and wine in the local supermarket, I was oh-so-amzed to find that we didn’t have drunks staggering in the streets and passing out in front of oncoming traffic. Amazingly, things seem to function … normally! And despite the relatively easy access to alcohol!

    As much as I like Pennsylvania, I was never a big fan of their 19th-century legislature.

  33. smoothtom says:

    @Peeved Guy: Worry not. Interstate exits were numbered to correspond to mileage a few years ago, and the 55 mph speed limit was dropped in, I think, 1994.

  34. t-r0y says:

    @bonzombiekitty: Indiana has used the mile marker for the exit number for at least 30 years!

  35. bonzombiekitty says:

    @t-r0y: All states should do this. It just makes sense. If you build two exits a few miles apart and then years later put one in between the two it makes a lot easier to number. Plus it also gives a good estimation of driving time by just looking at the exit numbers.

    Not sure if sequential numbering is mostly a north east thing or not.

  36. citizenc says:

    I live in Winnipeg, MB, Canada. In other provinces, like many of the US states, you can purchase booze from grocery stores and whatnot.

    Not here, boy. (Except the non-alcoholic kind.)

    Here, you can get booze from two places:

    1) An MLCC (Manitoba Liquor Control Comission) store, which carries pretty much every form of hard alcohol, or

    2) Beer vendor (small stores that sells only beer; must be part of a hotel or motel)

    I don’t get to buy booze in grocery stores. I have to go to the booze store.

    So, to all my friends in PA: SUCK IT UP, PRINCESS!

    At least you can do all your shopping in one place. ;-)

  37. MeOhMy says:

    With the exception of the Turnpike, NJ is using mile-based exits on most of the major highways now.

  38. MameDennis says:

    No, we *can’t* do our shopping in one place. We cannot buy alcohol of any kind in grocery stores. (This vending machine thing might happen, but I’m not holding my breath.) All wine and spirits are sold in state stores. Beer is sold–by the case– by privately-owned beer distributors. If you want a six-pack, you have to buy it at wildly inflated prices from a bar.

    Very recently, *some* state stores started Sunday sales.

    In other words, my Manitoban friend, we’re pretty much in same boat.

    There’s an informative article about PA’s liquor laws here:

  39. Peeved Guy says:

    @Clold: @defectivesealion:
    @et. al.:

    I am an old fart and haven’t called the Keystone State my home for about 20 years. I have visited frequently and know that the speed limit is now 65 and the exit number are right, but when I left (in 1988) things were a bit different. It’s a great place to visit and take the family, but I’ll stay in Colorado, thank you very much. I have to admit, I never got used to being able to buy beer in a grocery store… still think that’s odd for some reason.

  40. unklegwar says:

    Fingerprint readers are notoriously easy to trick. I’ve seen them tricked with everything from photocopies of fingerprints to silly putty imprints.

    By the way, both of these are things your average kid will have access to.

    But, what’s it comparing fingerprints against? Only people with arrest records will be able to buy wine? WTF?

  41. BloggyMcBlogBlog says:

    What states have the best liquor laws? Probably Nevada. I found this handy chart on each state’s liquor laws:

    I’ve found that Illinois seems to have the lowest liquor prices, especially beer. Budweiser is cheaper in Chicago than St. Louis.

  42. @BloggyMcBlogBlog: That is why my parents always stock up the back of the car before going to visit my grandfather in Tennessee, where liquor is very spendy from state taxes.

    I myself now get asked by out-of-staters to bring cheap Illinois booze if I’m driving to visit. :)

    I do remember when they increased the taxes a couple percent some years ago and it was like statewide PANIC and run on the liquor stores the week before the taxes changed. Oh teh noes, we’re only the 2nd-cheapest state to buy liquor in now!

    (Oh, and per state law, you’re now allowed in Illinois to recork your wine and take it home in your car! It’s not an open container! So common-sense, can’t believe it took that long to get to it.)

  43. psychocellochica says:

    Part of the problem in PA is that all LCB employees are state, and more importantly UNION, employees. Privatizing liquor sales in PA would eliminate a few thousand union jobs, and no lawmaker in PA wants to piss of AFSCME (especially since our state legislature voted themselves into the state employee retirement system not too many years ago).

    Luckily, LCB store employees are considered ‘essential’ personnel like welfare workers and prison guards, or else the liquor stores would be closed whenever we had a budget impasse like last summer.

  44. donkeyjote says:

    @bonzombiekitty: I do NJ, and most highways have mile and 1/10th mile markers.

  45. Lisastwin says:

    I am surprised no one has mentioned the silver lining to PA’s admittedly draconian, freakish liquor laws … byob at restaurants without liquor licenses. Of course, you’re still stuck with the selection at the state stores. Also, the enormous Sheetz (gas station) in downtown Altoona briefly– like for a day last year– sold beer. It was able to get a license because it was also a “restaurant” but when I left PA it was still in some kind of court or arbitration process. Anyone know about that?

  46. tofoomeister says: pretty much says it all

  47. nardo218 says:

    @doctor_cos: Except without the saving.

  48. nardo218 says:

    @Peeved Guy: They’ve been mile markers for about five years.

  49. Bryan Price says:

    And I thought Ohio was bad…

  50. AMetamorphosis says:

    The WORST thing about PA liquor laws is that when I go to a distributor for beer ( because the pathetic liquor stors only sell wine & booze ) is that I am forced to buy an entire case … so much for moderation !

  51. Mr. Gunn says:

    Because a biometric device is better at determining age than a store employee? WTF?

  52. UritEchemus says:

    They said they are requiring 3 dimensional biometric readers , this will
    prevent spoofing, They test temperature and blood flow. The rfp states that
    registration will be required.therefore they’ll match finger prints w/
    fingerprints scanned at registration.

  53. UritEchemus says:

    @Mr. Gunn:
    Much better. A biometric scanner is not spoofable and has no friends.