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brian12069
12-13-2006, 16:08
Can anyone clarify what the law is on ordering spirits online? I'll start by saying I live in New York State and have ordered from Hi Times in California, and Sams in Chicago both about a year ago. I tried to place an order at Sams the other night and they no longer ship to NY State because of recent law changes. Is that law changes in Illinois? or New York?

I later placed an order with Sherry-Lehmann and had no problem and my order arrived. I was wondering if it is because they are in NY? I was also wondering if anyone knew of a different place that I could order from that has a good variety of bourbon, Sherry-Lehmann doesn't carry very much.
Thanks in advance...

bluesbassdad
12-13-2006, 17:10
In regard to my state Sam's says no; Hi Time says no (a change about a year ago); Binny's says yes (or did last time I tried, perhaps three months back).

Give Binny's a try. No promises.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

brian12069
12-13-2006, 17:15
In regard to my state Sam's says no; Hi Time says no (a change about a year ago); Binny's says yes (or did last time I tried, perhaps three months back).

Give Binny's a try. No promises.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

That is really strange because aren't Sam's and Binny's both in Chicago? See that's what I mean, what is the law?

bluesbassdad
12-13-2006, 17:31
Strange, indeed -- for that very reason.

The way I read the Arizona law, it seems to me that there are some administrative things the shipper is supposed to do to gain permission to do business here. Perhaps Binny's thinks Arizona's business is worth the fuss.

Or maybe the law is so confusing (as my engineering/accounting brain found it to be) that Sam's reads it one way and Binny's another.

The sudden change in Hi Times' policy is equally perplexing. Almost certainly the restriction, if any, is on the Arizona end, and yet there was no change in our laws that coincided with the mid-year change in their policy.

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

ILLfarmboy
12-13-2006, 18:19
The last time I was at Hi-Times website back in early/mid Nov. scouring around for a source of the 2006 antique collection their website said they were "shipping spirits in California only at this time". I can only suppose it has something to do with MADD's media blitz this past summer about kids supposedly ordering booze on line.

If anything ordering liquor on line is a pain in the ass.

How many teenagers have there own credit cards anyway. At least cards that they themselves pay the bill.

brian12069
12-13-2006, 18:24
If anything ordering liquor on line is a pain in the ass.


I find it very convenient and I love the variety from a "good" online store.

ILLfarmboy
12-13-2006, 18:35
I find it very convenient and I love the variety from a "good" on line store.

Perhaps I was a bit harsh, the major and frankly only inconvenience I was thinking of is having to be home when the UPS truck shows up. Both the wife and I work days. however being a millwright my work is seasonal. I'm usually off most of the winter. Except for the occasional service call and scheduled feed mill shutdowns etc.

brian12069
12-13-2006, 18:49
I have never been here when they show up. I wouldn't have time to do that. That would be inconvenient!

Empty Glass
12-13-2006, 18:51
www.wineandliquordepot.com in CA has a great selection. Price not to bad. Just ordered a AHH 16yr @$72.00

ILLfarmboy
12-13-2006, 18:51
Were it not for on-line shipping from Binny's etc. I would never have had any of the Antique Collection etc. Bret from Binny's has always been very helpful and friendly. And the selection at Binny's and Sam's is phenomenal. For that I am thankful.

TNbourbon
12-13-2006, 20:21
Can anyone clarify what the law is on ordering spirits online?..

Quite simply, no. The Twenty-First Amendment (Prohibition's repeal) broadly bans the importation and use of alcohol in violation of a state's or territory's laws. There are 50 states and a handful of territories -- each has different laws, and their interpretations 'evolve' over time.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Summer '05 that states which treat the shipping/delivery/sales of wines from in-state and out-of-state wineries differently must stop doing so. Thus, many states have liberalized their shipping laws, others have prohibited both -- and mine, which has always prohibited the shipping of wine/liquor from in- or out-of-state, remains unaffected. However, that ruling related to wine specifically, not spirits, and many states are still evaluating their options. Meanwhile, many package shippers simply will not accept a shipment they know contains alcohol.
So, there is no 'law', but a hodgepodge of state laws which understandably render some retailers unwilling to risk a shipment's illegality -- and the potential loss of its liquor license as a result.
Trial and error is about your only route.

ThomasH
12-14-2006, 14:21
Most shippers will accept packages from licensed retailers that register with them. Places like Binny's supply a lot of package volume and Fedex,UPS and DHL don't really want to lose the business. I have never had a problem with UPS or Fedex, but DHL can be a real pain. I have ordered from both Hi Times wine and Mission liquor in the past, but both now only ship within California! The online liquor store I most frequently use are Binnys and Shoppers Vineyard in NJ. Both have excellent variety and service!

Thomas

gothbat
12-14-2006, 15:51
Binny's links to http://wi.shipcompliant.com/Home.aspx for information regarding shipping. The information I've seen on this site is contradictory to what I have seen on other sites regarding my state though. From what I can gather reading the description for my state I'm not supposed to be receiving shipments. Perhaps I've misinterpreted because I do and if you pick up one of the packages I've received it's pretty obvious what's inside...

Hope this helps, but based on what I just said it probably doesn't.

brian12069
12-15-2006, 03:45
Binny's links to http://wi.shipcompliant.com/Home.aspx for information regarding shipping. The information I've seen on this site is contradictory to what I have seen on other sites regarding my state though. From what I can gather reading the description for my state I'm not supposed to be receiving shipments. Perhaps I've misinterpreted because I do and if you pick up one of the packages I've received it's pretty obvious what's inside...

Hope this helps, but based on what I just said it probably doesn't.

Actually, that is the clearest thing I have read so far. In NY it is permited. You are limited to 36 cases per year. I don't thing I'll be ordering that much...lol

BobA
12-18-2006, 10:25
That site seems to be focused on wine, and the regs discussed are probably not applicable to spirits. For instance, it discusses GA's wine shipping law, but if you tried to apply it to spirits, you'd be committing a crime; there is simply no spirit shipping allowed. You may be able to use the accompanying links to get spirit info for your state.

Bob

dgonano
12-19-2006, 11:22
Don't confuse the wine laws, which allow direct delivery from the winery to the consumer in states where intrastate movement was previously allowed, with the laws applicable to other alcohol shipments. The 3 tier system is going to getcha. Fed Ex says no alcohol ( other than wine ) shipments to consumers .

Evidently youths are less likely to buy and get drunk on wine?

Empty Glass
12-19-2006, 12:28
My best friend the UPS man just delivered my AHHirsch, WR and MM last night from the sunny state of CA. I guess whatever they don't know don't hurt. I think that he might have tasted the Hirsch. My Pappy's are coming into the local spirit shop where I can caress the bottle before I purchase it.

cowdery
12-19-2006, 19:42
Don't confuse Fed Ex policies with laws. Although the Supreme Court's decision was made in a case regarding the shipping of wine, the Commerce Clause exception that allows states to regulate alcohol sales is really about alcohol, not about any particular type of alcohol, and a law that capriciously allows for wine something it denies for spirits probably would not stand up to a legal challenge. In other words, a state that tries to write a law permitting wine shipments only, because it has a local wine industry but not a local spirits industry, probably would not be successful.

bluesbassdad
12-19-2006, 21:34
If you don't mind my asking, which vendor in California shipped to you?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

ILLfarmboy
12-19-2006, 23:17
Don't confuse the wine laws, which allow direct delivery from the winery to the consumer in states where intrastate movement was previously allowed, with the laws applicable to other alcohol shipments. The 3 tier system is going to getcha. Fed Ex says no alcohol ( other than wine ) shipments to consumers .

Evidently youths are less likely to buy and get drunk on wine?

This got me to thinking. Ordering over the Internet pretty much requires a credit card and as I said earlier "how many teenagers have their own credit cards (ones witch they themselves pay the bill)". Using plastic creates a paper trail by which it aught to be easy enough to verify the card holder's age. Perhaps on-line merchants already do this. How else would they verify a persons age? If various anti-alcohol read neo-prohibitionist organizations were truthful in their stated desire to "reduce underage drinking" would they not take the opposite tack and push to require all alcohol purchases be made with a credit card precisely because of the paper trail involved? Not that I would ever support such measures. It would run counter to my more or less Libertarian viewpoint!

Having to sign for an alcohol shipment makes no sense to me if your age has already been verified.

HighTower
12-20-2006, 03:58
I was surprised that my BTAC got through customs, considering Binnys put the ABV for all the bottles on the outside of the package. The Stagg should have been disallowed on an aircraft (its hazmat at over 140 proof) and then customs seemed to look the other way once the bottles arrived in Australia...good news for me though :grin: I was expecting a large bill...

Scott

dgonano
12-20-2006, 11:43
It appears New York is only allowing out-of-state wineries, which have acquired a license from NY, to directly ship to consumers. I do not believe any other spirit is allowed.

In Maryland, a state which never even allowed intrastate direct shipping of wine, no alcohol is allowed to be shipped into the state...not even wine unless first shipped directly to a distributor, who takes a nice cut before sending to the retail, who takes a bigger cut..

I personally believe that the protected wholesalers and distributors have served their original purpose and new laws be enacted to allow foreign shipments. But here's another roadblock...the states are hurting for revenue. They are not collecting any sales or liquor taxes on these shipments into their domain. Sooner or later the laws will change but with a heavy price consequences for the seller and buyer.

T47
12-20-2006, 23:41
Though I have not actually ordered, when I last asked Binnys and Hi-times told me they shipped to WA. State. Here is a response I received from our State Liquor Control;
Spirits may not legally be purchased from any mail order business. Bottled Spirits may only be legally purchased through a State Liquor Store. As far as shipping liquor within the State, you will find that most carriers will not pick it up unless you are licensed. If shipping to another State, you will have to determine what that State's laws are and follow them. Washington does not allow private shipments out-of-State retailers to ship into the state. I always go to www.ttb.gov (http://www.ttb.gov/) which has links to all the States.
Wine may be purchased and shipped from an in-State or out-of-State winery if licensed, and ship it to you. In State retailers that are approved may also ship to you. They have to follow the laws of other State's if they do business in those State's. Although this next link only applies to wineries, you can see the difficulty in transporting wine from State to State. http://www.wineinstitute.org/programs/shipwine/ (http://www.wineinstitute.org/programs/shipwine/)

He then attached the applicable enforcement codes for me. What a crazy bureaucracy!

cowdery
12-21-2006, 07:29
I have no doubt states are passing wine-only legislation. I just believe that, eventually, when it all sorts out legally, the courts will recognize that it makes no sense to regulate bev al by type.