Thursday, August 18

South Dakotan Wine Drinkers Rejoice as Shipping Bill Passes Senate

Wine drinkers in South Dakota may have one more reason to raise a glass pretty soon — a bill that will allow consumer-direct shipping of wine is slated to reach the governor’s desk after being approved by the full Senate Tuesday.

The Senate approval takes wine aficionados in the state one more step closer to being able to have wine legally delivered to their doors. According to the Rapid City Journal, South Dakota is one of only nine states in the U.S. that outlaw consumer-direct shipping of wine.

The initiative began as an effort of South Dakotans for Better Wine Laws, which is a group of Sioux Falls anesthesiologists and nurse anesthetists who enjoy drinking wine. Though the bill was shot down last year, careful study and amendment has helped bring it to reality.

Opposition to the bill largely came from in-state retailers who felt that they would be paying more in taxes.

“We all gave a little bit, and we all got a little bit, and we came up with a bill that we all can live with,” said Diana Miller, a lobbyist for South Dakotans For Better Wine Laws. “It’s not often like that.”

Transportation is one of the world’s largest and most efficient industries. Though it ranges from trucks, to planes, to trains, to ships, it only accounts for about 6% of economic activity. One of the world’s largest carriers, FedEx, delivers some nine million packages every day. This, however, does not mean that there aren’t laws that dictate what can and cannot be shipped.

“Every person involved in the supply chain is responsible for knowing the laws that regulate shipments of wine, or any alcoholic beverage for that matter,” says Chris Franzen, Director of Logistics, Broussard Logistics. “Laws vary from state to state who can and cannot ship wine in and out of the state. The US Postal Service, as well as FedEx and UPS will not ship alcohol under any circumstances due to company policies. Wine retailers and approved shippers are expected to know the law or face stiff fines. In addition, a consumer who ships alcohol in any form without revealing what is in the package to the carrier can face legal action. Ignorance of the law is no defense.”

ABC affiliate KSFY reports that the new bill will allow South Dakotans to buy up to 12 cases of wine per year and have it delivered to their doors. The wineries do have to send reports to the state detailing who they shipped wine to and how much of it was shipped.

Governor Dennis Daugaard reportedly supports the bill.

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