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View Full Version : Would you break a law to acquire good bourbon?



Dave_in_Canada
09-08-2005, 17:26
Let's say you wanted to acquire bourbon that was not locally available. Many states and countries have laws against imports, such as complete bans, shipping restrictions, import quotas (cross border duties and limits) etc. However, many states will ship product in unmarked packages. In anonymity....

Hedmans Brorsa
09-09-2005, 00:57
I think it should be anyone´s right to obtain stuff that you are unable to get in your home area or country.

robbyvirus
09-09-2005, 02:24
How do we know our answers to this poll aren't going straight into some homeland security database?

kbuzbee
09-09-2005, 05:48
How do we know our answers to this poll aren't going straight into some homeland security database?



No, this is completely secure and confidential. Just speak right into the keyboard.....

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Ken

Ken Weber
09-09-2005, 09:47
I realize this is purely for internal use, however, I would like to take the 5th on this (better yet, I would like to taste a 5th!).

Ken

kbuzbee
09-09-2005, 10:04
I realize this is purely for internal use, however, I would like to take the 5th on this (better yet, I would like to taste a 5th!).

Ken



Metric, Ken, metric!!! .75l!

BobA
09-09-2005, 10:31
I answered "never" to whether I've done so in the past. Attempts to order on the web indicate that although I might be willing, the shippers don't seem to be.

Bob

cowdery
09-09-2005, 12:31
This poll is based on a false premise. It is not illegal to order and receive alcohol from out of state, assuming one is of legal age. It is the shipper who might be in violation of a law, but not the shipee.

gr8erdane
09-09-2005, 12:38
Living in a very tolerant state, it's a moot point to me. I have ordered from Sam's, Binny's, and Armaghetti's from Chicago, and HiTime from California. Now the few bottles I've been able to actually not get outbid on at eBay might constitute this but as Chuck says, the shipper is the one that would have to face the judge in these cases anyway.

Dave_in_Canada
09-09-2005, 12:41
Chuck, the poll isn't limited to cross-state shipping. Cross border is also involved and in those instances, bringing in more than an allowable limit, or not paying taxes and duties would indeed be "breaking the law"

jbutler
09-09-2005, 14:06
How do we know our answers to this poll aren't going straight into some homeland security database?



Because you didn't provide your SSN silly! Homeland security only gets tipped off when you apply for a credit card at Home Depot!

And Ken, keyboards are so last week -- speak directly into your optical mouse, it just plain works better. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

kbuzbee
09-09-2005, 14:17
And Ken, keyboards are so last week -- speak directly into your optical mouse, it just plain works better. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif



Doah! Well, my Powerbook only has the trackpad (and I cut the mic out of it years ago!). I'd have to get the HSA approved fire wire user monitoring device. Of course I don't have to worry. Chances of them providing a Mac OS driver are nil http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

Ken

bluesbassdad
09-09-2005, 14:23
Dane,

Just curious -- what could you get from Hi-Time that you couldn't get shipped from Chi for less?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

NorCalBoozer
09-09-2005, 15:04
some shippers add a caveat that you are actually taking posession of the item in said state and they are merely acting as your agent to mail it to you. Sounds like an attempt to remove any liability on their part.

from bevmo invoice:

"All Alcoholic Beverages are sold in CALIFORNIA and TITLE passes to the buyer in CALIFORNIA. We make no representation to the legal rights of anyone to ship or import wines into any state outside California. The buyer is soley responsible for shipment of alcoholic beverage products. By placing an order, you authorize us to act on your behalf to engage a common carrier to deliever your order to you....."




This poll is based on a false premise. It is not illegal to order and receive alcohol from out of state, assuming one is of legal age. It is the shipper who might be in violation of a law, but not the shipee.

camduncan
09-09-2005, 15:30
I've only ordered internationally from Binnys once (and that was an expensive exercise....but the Stagg & Sazerac were worth it http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif) - it was completely above board..I paid the full duty and taxes into Australia.
I've often pushed the limit of Duty Free though. Our limits have recently changed from 1 litre Duty Free to 2.25 litres per person, which is 3 750ml bottles. We got grilled by Australian Customs 2 weeks ago because we'd declared our combined total of 4.5 litres was exceeded by one 6 pack of beer http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif They let us go through after a stern talking too, but the part that really gets me irate is that if you exceed the allowance, and they decide to charge you duty, it is on the whole amount of your alcohol, not just the excess http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/hot.gif Stinks of profiteering in opinion http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/skep.gif

bluesbassdad
09-09-2005, 15:42
Chuck,

I was thinking someone here had stated that even receiving an illicit shipment of alcohol in Tennessee is a felony. Am I wrong about that?

Tim?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

TNbourbon
09-09-2005, 15:50
...It is not illegal to order and receive alcohol from out of state, assuming one is of legal age. It is the shipper who might be in violation of a law, but not the shipee.



Even the 'importer' is committing a felony in TN -- you cannot '...import or transport, or cause to be imported or transported, from any other state, territory or country, into this state, any alcoholic beverages...' -- while the carrier, too, is on the hook. (T.C.A.§57-3-102,3 et seq., 57-3-401 et seq.)

NorCalBoozer
09-09-2005, 17:01
it would be interesting if there was an easy way to find out when the last time someone was charged and/or convicted of each of these codes or what the overall enforcement was. and if convicted, what was the sentence.

gr8erdane
09-09-2005, 21:17
WT Tribute my friend, Sam's and Binny's weren't advertising it at the time. And last year got BMH 21 to bring to Bardstown if I remember right because they had the best price.

TNbourbon
09-09-2005, 21:21
it would be interesting if there was an easy way to find out when the last time someone was charged and/or convicted of each of these codes or what the overall enforcement was. and if convicted, what was the sentence.



Well, here is a report (and editorial discussion) of a case from 2002. The issue was taxes, though the felony liquor statute was used, both because it also applied and carried a harsher punishment.
http://hobbsonline.blogspot.com/2002/08/revenooers-for-years-in-new-york-city.html
(Note: Bristol is a city which straddles the TN-VA state line, thereby facilitating such beer/liquor 'importation'.)

musher
09-10-2005, 06:24
Since many of the retailers with web sites are willing to ship to Minnesota, I'm guessing its OK, but I also have the feeling that there are a few tax-related issues being ignored.

This also applies to damned near everything else bought over the internet that is taxable in Minnesota. You're supposed to pay a "use tax", which is basically an honor-system sales tax for things bought out-of-state when you live here. You pay any difference between our $0.065 sales tax and the tax you actually paid (yea, right). And I suppose they'll give me a tax refund if the other state's rate was higher, or if I buy clothing in a state that taxes clothing, since it isn't taxable here.

http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/fish2.gif

kbuzbee
09-10-2005, 07:01
You're right about that, Musher. In these budget crunch times every state is trying to make sure they get what's owed 'em. A bill a couple years ago would have made it mandatory on the vendor to collect the correct tax on any sale to anywhere and forward that tax to the locality to which it was owed. The vendors banned together (with strong input from customers) and presuaded the PTB that such a law would be impossible to enforce in any reasonable manner. It fell apart (for now). One day when all taxation mechanisms are on line it will raise it's head again. On the other had, you should not be being charged sales tax from say, California when you live in MN. So there should be no issue with having higher tax rates rebated. The only online stores I see charging sales tax are those with store fronts in the customer's state. Those businesses are presumed to know the local tax laws and apply them. They still only collect the State sales tax, overlooking the city, county, school district, parish, trash district, water district......... ARGH!!!!!! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

We have too many taxing entities.

Ken

cowdery
09-10-2005, 12:21
Interesting. Obviously, I don't know every state law and it's certainly possible for a state to make "illegal importing" a crime, although I suspect a lot of these laws, like the cavaet the California retailer is using, have not been tested in the courts. Then you get into issues of capricious enforcement. Ultimately the issue is tax evasion. Otherwise, you get into the Commerce Clause issues the Supreme Court resolved in Granholm v Heald.

bourbonchef1189
09-11-2005, 07:53
Since direct shipment is prohibited in Georgia I'm going to have to break the law next itme I'm in Kentucky.
I've Alway's wanted to be a bootlegger anyway http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

kbuzbee
09-11-2005, 08:05
Since direct shipment is prohibited in Georgia I'm going to have to break the law next itme I'm in Kentucky.
I've Alway's wanted to be a bootlegger anyway http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif



We had the pleasure of touring the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre in Edinburgh this Spring. During the tour they explored the period Scotland went through of moonshiners and bootleggers. It sounded exactly like here. I was kinda surprized. All to avoid the taxes of course.

Ken

bourbonchef1189
09-11-2005, 08:25
Back the early 1980's I was lucky enough to go on two raids of moonshine stills in Taylor Co. Ga. One was a 500 gallon operation. I Had a taste of that shine and I have to say it was very smooth. The old man running it was a true craftsman. I almost cried as we broke up that still.:(

kbuzbee
09-11-2005, 12:44
Back the early 1980's I was lucky enough to go on two raids of moonshine stills in Taylor Co. Ga. One was a 500 gallon operation. I Had a taste of that shine and I have to say it was very smooth. The old man running it was a true craftsman. I almost cried as we broke up that still.:(



I bet, ouch!

tlsmothers
09-11-2005, 17:35
As a retailer, I've struggled with this problem over and over. My standard speech is, "No, it is illegal for me to hard liquor ship out of state." Well, have I? What do you think? Friends, family, and the occassional plea that wins my heart over can answer that one. Have I had items shipped? Course. I don't sell anything in the store that hasn't been registered with the State, but I have had friends send me treats that I can't get here for my own personal consumption.

With the Commerce Clause issue and the Supreme Court ruling, folks keep getting confused thinking that now I can ship all over without an issue. Ain't that easy, as we know. I explain to folks that my problem, beyond the law, is that if I ship and it gets lost, we have to get creative to file a claim. If it breaks, and the package record is marked "alcohol", I have no way to file a claim. I had this happen with FedEx once. My brother works for UPS slinging boxes in a warehouse and has told me more than once how employees will spot something that seems like booze, rip open the box, steal the liquor, and throw the box in the "hazardous waste" pile.

When I worked for Sherry-Lehmann in Manhattan, I had to handle all the shipment complaints. Claims were filed as "broken glass samples" but now I hear S-L lost their UPS contract after getting busted from shipping hard liquor to a minor across state lines. They are big enough to bounce back from a big slap on the wrist from the liquor authority. I would probably be crushed financially.

ratcheer
09-11-2005, 18:02
I have received (and always turned down) several offers to send something to me that I had said I am unable to obtain in Alabama. Part of my motive, of course, is that I do not want to expose myself to a felony charge. But the main reason is that I would never forgive myself if a friend who was trying to help me were to be faced with a felony charge for doing it.

Tim

TonyM
09-20-2005, 09:36
Being a Single Malt Scotch fan, as well as Bourbon, I periodically have items shipped in to me, mainly because it's not readily availible here. In some cases, I can get Scotch and some Bourbon shipped cheaper than buying it in my Local Liquor Store. For someone like me, who buys in volume, I'm always looking for the best bargain.