Utah Vies To Keep Title of “State With Crazies Alcohol Law”
Apparently fearful Utah might get bypassed by other states in the look-at-our-crazy-alcohol-laws sweepstakes, the state is considering a bill that would finally allow Utahans to buy beer, wine and spirits online. One caveat, the buyer can’t pay for the beer online and must go into the store to pick up and pay for the wine.
Come on…That’s just humor. Straight-up humor, right. People often accuse Utahans and particularly their Morman majority of being humorless. But I think this attempt at “e-commerce” proves that stereotype worthless.
“If approved, online ordering of beer at grocery stores would be allowed as long as the retailer does not process payment before it verifies that the customer — who still must go into the store — “is the patron who placed the order” and that she or he is 21 or older….Along those same lines, the newly unveiled bill also would allow customers to place an online order at a licensed distillery, brewery or winery. The manufacturer would not be allowed to process the payment, the measure says, until the customer goes into the business and an employee determines that it is “the patron who placed the order” and that person is of legal age to buy alcohol.”
The Salt Lake City Tribune, reporting on the newly introduced bill (HB371), noted that the online ordering provision of the bill was part of “a catchall alcohol measure sponsored by Reps. Timothy Hawkes, R-Centerville, and Steve Waldrip, R-Eden, [that] addresses the 21st-century convenience that consumers have been clamoring, especially during the pandemic.”
Here’s the thing…I’ve been working in the alcohol world for thirty years. I’ve studied this issue of consumer convenience. I’ve talked to hundreds of consumers and retailers and wineries. Not once have I heard a single person describe convenience as having to first go on-line to order a beer or wine or spirit, then having to go to the store or producer to pay for and pick up the item.
As the Tribune notes, “The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee for debate.” I’ll be following how this bill advances in order to attend the hearing and the debate that ensues. I’ll be curious to know just how this bill is opposed, as well as supported. I just can’t fathom either.