Bill aims to halt direct alcohol shipping

From the Wine Spectator website:

The battle over whether consumers can order wine directly from wineries is moving to the halls of the U.S. Capitol.

Members of Congress yesterday [April 15] introduced a bill, HR 5034, that could end direct shipping of wine and other forms of alcohol in the United States, or at least put major roadblocks in front of lawsuits by consumers and wineries trying to reduce restrictions on direct shipping.

Wine Spectator obtained a copy of a draft of the bill on Wednesday [April 14], which was crafted by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA). It would strengthen state governments' control of alcohol sales, allowing them to protect the three-tier system of distribution while putting a much greater burden on people challenging it. ...

"The whole idea [behind the bill] is to make it prohibitively difficult for wineries and consumers to challenge discriminatory and irrational laws that have little or nothing to do with the protection of the public," said Kirkland & Ellis attorney Tracy Genesen, who has been the lead attorney on many direct-shipping lawsuits that have resulted in state alcohol laws being overturned.

[Go here for the full story.]

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