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Alcohol delivery bill receives favorable report from Senate committee

The legislation allows for alcohol delivery with strict, multiple layers of checks and balances in place, the bill’s sponsor said.

Wine ready for delivery

A bill to authorize alcohol delivery in Alabama received a favorable report from the state Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday. The legislation — Senate Bill 126, sponsored by Sen. Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills — provides for an in-state delivery license to allow retailers, their employees or independent contractors to deliver beer, wine or spirits directly to Alabama residents who are 21 years of age or older for personal use only.

“Our legislation allows for alcohol delivery with strict, multiple layers of checks and balances in place,” Waggoner said. “The legislation explicitly regulates that alcohol deliveries are made only to adults of legal drinking age.”

Companion legislation House Bill 229 is being carried in the by state Rep. Gil Isbell, R-Gadsden, who said: “Passing common-sense rules for safe alcohol delivery in Alabama is smart all around – giving more options to consumers relying on delivery services while providing a boost to delivery workers and local retail businesses during a pivotal time.”

“It’s time to pass legislation that responsibly gives consumers in Alabama the option for delivery of beer, wine, and spirits, just as states across the country have done,” Isbell said.

The COVID-19 pandemic heightened awareness of the importance of home delivery with companies like Birmingham-based Shipt at the forefront of making a vital connection between businesses and consumers.

“Families across Alabama already count on Shipt to get the groceries and goods they need, and we’ve heard consistently from customers that they want to get beer and wine delivered along with the rest of their order,” said Shipt spokesperson Evangeline George. “It’s important the right rules are in place to help ensure safe alcohol deliveries to homes throughout the state, which is why we support the legislation introduced by Rep. Isbell and Senator Waggoner.”

Founded in Birmingham in 2014, Shipt is a same-day delivery company with a marketplace of more than 120 retailers across grocery, home goods, pet supplies and more.

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Provisions in the legislation include:

  • Requires delivery service to apply for a delivery license issued by ABC.
  • Delivery is only allowed to individuals who are 21 years of age or older.
  • Requires delivery personnel to be 21 years of age or older.
  • Requires valid photo identification as proof of age pursuant to ABC rules and regulations.
  • Requires a training and certification program for delivery personnel approved by ABC that addresses topics like identifying underage individuals, intoxicated persons and fake or altered identification.
  • Requires delivery personnel to check a consumer’s ID and verify they are not intoxicated before a delivery is complete.

The legislation now awaits consideration by the full Senate.

Bill Britt is editor-in-chief at the Alabama Political Reporter and host of The Voice of Alabama Politics. You can email him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter.

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