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Senate passes bill allowing alcohol delivery to Alabama homes; House vote away from governor’s desk

MONTGOMERY — The Alabama Senate on Thursday passed SB 126 as amended, moving the measure one step away from the governor’s desk.

The bill would allow the delivery of sealed beer, wine and liquor from grocery stores, restaurants, and other licensed retailers to residences across the Yellowhammer State.

HB 229, the companion bill to SB 126, advanced from the House Judiciary Committee as amended on Wednesday, leaving a House floor vote as the only remaining hurdle to final passage by the legislature.

The legislation is sponsored by Senator Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia) and Representative Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden) in their respective chambers.

An amendment tacked onto each version of the bill increases the amount of alcohol allowed per delivery; another amendment requires a criminal background check to be conducted on licensees’ delivery drivers.

Overall, the bill features tight regulatory safeguards.

“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 has 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.”

The Senate vote was 25-4 on Thursday, the sixth day of the legislature’s 2021 regular session. The House could consider HB 229 on the floor as soon as Tuesday, February 23.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

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