House Committee To Vote On Lifting Online Wine Sales Restriction

Apr 8, 2015

Credit Bradley Wells / https://www.flickr.com/photos/bdwells1986/

A House committee votes Thursday on lifting restrictions on buying and selling wine on the Internet. Indiana bans online wine sales unless the customer has first had a face-to-face transaction with the seller.

Sen. Phil Boots (R-Crawfordsville) argues that requirement is both unnecessary and outdated. He says some Indiana wineries have given up on in-state sales because of the burdens of the law, and only ship their product out of state.

But while Boots says wineries would benefit from the law, he says it‘s consumers who have pushed hardest for the change.

The bill would require online buyers to scan their ID to prove they‘re over 21. And Boots says delivery services would check ID again when they bring the shipment.

Past efforts to loosen the ban have fallen short, but Boots says some of the opposition has been neutralized this year by packaging the change with repeal of a law requiring liquor wholesalers to be Indiana residents.

Boots says he’s hopeful the bill will pass this year.

“There’s another section in there that some of the other entities, or concerned parties, want to go through, so they’re not opposed to the other side,” Boots says.

The bill passed the Senate 40-10.