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House passes bills to legalize delivery of alcoholic beverages, wine shipments

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama House of Representatives passed legislation on Thursday that will allow alcoholic beverages to be delivered to the home.

The first bill, SB 126, passed the Senate early in the session. It was amended on the floor by House legislators on Thursday, so it heads back to the upper chamber for a vote that could send it to the governor’s desk.

SB 126 would create a licensing process that would ultimately allow liquor, beer and wine sold at retailers to be delivered to the home, including by services such as Shipt, Instacart or DoorDash.

State Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) sponsored SB 126, and it was carried in the House on Thursday by Rep. Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden).

“This is truly about convenience for the citizens of Alabama,” Isbell said about the legislation on Thursday.

Companies in the state that want to deliver alcoholic beverages to the home would have to apply for a delivery service license from Alabama’s Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board.

The legislation has limits on the amounts of each beverage that could be delivered, and deliveries could not be made to dry counties and dry cities.

All drivers carrying alcohol would be required to undergo a background check and must be at least 21 years old.

Local breweries and distillers in Alabama were the subjects of amendments in both legislative chambers that made sure their products were eligible for delivery under the bill.

State Rep. Allen Farley (R-McCalla) observed on the floor, “I can see the alcohol-related traffic fatalities going down,” as a result of the bill’s passage.

Deliveries of alcoholic beverages could not be left unattended. The bill requires a person over 21 must receive all deliveries of alcohol.

SB 126 passed the House with 79 members voting in favor and 12 opposed.

The House passed a second alcohol delivery bill on Thursday, HB 437, that allows wine to be shipped from the manufacturer (winery) to a consumer’s home by common carriers like UPS, FedEx or the U.S. Postal Service.

A carrier that wants to ship alcohol in Alabama will have to be licensed by the ABC Board. Wineries, too, would have to purchase a permit before shipping directly to consumers in Alabama.

Directly-shipped wine would be eligible for delivery to dry counties and dry cities in Alabama if the bill becomes law.

HB 437 now heads to the Alabama Senate for consideration.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@new-yhn.local or on Twitter @HenryThornton95.