Rep. John Taylor (R-Philadelphia) will introduce legislation to decriminalize the purchase of out-of-state wine and liquor.
“For decades people have driven into New Jersey and Delaware to purchase wines and spirits not available in Pennsylvania, which is illegal, though rarely enforced. When it is enforced, the consequences can be great and often unfair,” Rep. Taylor said.
Rep. Taylor cited the case of Arthur Goldman, a lawyer who purchased more than 2,400 bottles of premium wines purchased out of state that were unavailable through the Pennsylvania system. Goldman was charged with selling liquor from his home, though he was making purchases for friends and family who had requested a specific wine and reimbursed him.
“These valuable wines, which represent a significant investment by the purchaser, were confiscated by the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement and could be destroyed,” Rep. Taylor said. “If he is willing to pay the necessary state taxes, he should have his wines returned to him.”
To make sure this does not happen again, Taylor will introduce legislation to decriminalize this activity as long as the person making the purchase pays the Pennsylvania taxes owed on the product.
“My bill will specifically allow residents of Pennsylvania to purchase wine, spirits and beer outside of the Commonwealth and bring those purchases home with them without fear of criminal prosecution,” Rep. Taylor said.
Furthermore, Rep. Taylor’s legislation would allow a Pennsylvania resident to be reimbursed by a friend or family member for alcohol purchased outside of Pennsylvania.“It’s time to reform this system,” Rep. Taylor said.