Alabama Senate committee advances bill that would allow home delivery of beer, wine, liquor from retail stores
MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday morning gave a favorable report to a bill that would allow the delivery of sealed beer, wine and liquor from grocery stores, restaurants and other licensed retailers to residences across the Yellowhammer State.
The bill, SB 126, would provide that the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board would handle the licensing of services allowed to deliver alcohol.
The amount of alcohol allowed to be delivered to one person in a single delivery would be tightly limited, and deliveries would only be allowed to those at least 21 years of age.
SB 126 is being sponsored by Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia), chair of the powerful Senate Rules Committee.
The fiscal note on the bill summarizes the measure as follows:
Senate Bill 126 as introduced would: (1) authorize the filing and payment of a non-refundable $100 filing fee and $1,000 license and annual renew fee by a licensee of the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board, to obtain a delivery service license to transport and deliver, for personal use, up to 48 twelve ounce containers of beer, up to 288 ounces of draft beer, up to six 750 milliliter bottles of wine, and up to 1,750 milliliters of spirits, (sold by off-premises licensees) and up to 375 milliliters of spirits (sold by restaurant licensees) within a 24 hour period, to individuals in the state that are at least 21 years of age; and (2) authorize the ABC Board to promulgate rules to implement the provisions of the bill.
In the House, HB 229 by Rep. Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden) is acting as the companion bill to SB 126.
“Our legislation allows for alcohol delivery with strict, multiple layers of checks and balances in place. The legislation explicitly regulates that alcohol deliveries are made only to adults of legal drinking age,” Waggoner said in a statement.
Isbell added, “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.”
Requirements under the bills include mandatory valid photo identification as proof of age pursuant to ABC rules and regulations, as well as 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.
The legislation would allow grocery delivery services, such as Birmingham-based Shipt, to deliver alcohol through the ABC Board’s licensing process.
Founded in the Magic City in 2014, Shipt is a same-day delivery company with a marketplace of over 120 retailers across grocery, home goods, pet supplies and more. Shipt is now an independently operated, wholly owned subsidiary of Target Corp. and remains headquartered in Birmingham. Committed to growing in the state of Alabama, Shipt is the anchor tenant in downtown Birmingham’s tallest building, which officially became Shipt Tower last year.
In nearly 20 states in which alcohol delivery is already legal, Shipt’s model specifically incentivizes their shoppers to take alcohol back to the store when the customer cannot meet requirements under the law, such as not being intoxicated or having to provide their valid photo ID. Shipt pays shoppers for the order, regardless of whether the alcohol is delivered or not. This allows the shopper comfort in knowing they can still be compensated and not feel pressure to make a potentially bad delivery.
Evangeline George, a Shipt spokeswoman, said in a statement, “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. 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.”
The Senate committee vote on SB 126 was 10-1 in favor on Wednesday. The bill will now be eligible for consideration on the Senate floor.
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn