There are two bills being discussed in Augusta that may be harmful to Maine’s efforts to prevent underage drinking.
L.D. 1900, “An Act to Allow the Importation of Wine,” and L.D. 560 “An Act to Permit Interstate Wine Sales and Delivery to Homes,” allow home delivery of wine. While the bills’ sponsors are convinced that these policies are good for Maine and have tried to include provisions to safely guard against abuse of the law, I feel strongly that face-to-face sales are best when it comes to alcohol.
Massachusetts Attorney General Tom Reilly filed suit against four online retailers accused of violating the state’s liquor laws after college students, who were concerned about easy access to alcohol, successfully purchased alcohol online. These students found just how easy it is to order and receive alcoholic beverages without ever being asked to show identification.
In Maine, a law was passed last session that requires retailers to check the identification of anyone attempting to purchase alcohol that looks under 27 years old. A retail store owner could be fined or lose their license for violating this law. However, Internet retailers have no consequences and no one will be checking when alcohol is sold to a minor. These laws are unenforceable.
The cost to address alcohol-related problems in Maine is staggering. Passing these bills will increase access of alcohol by youth and only make the underage drinking problems worse.
Joan Churchill, Hebron