Florida "Wall of Separation" Finally on the Way Out?


As covered on DrinksReform, Florida failed to repeal its law requiring a separate retailing location for distilled spirits sales in grocery stores. But after the failed repeal, the law was challenged in front of an administrative judge, who according to WCTV, has now ruled against the law:

You might soon see whiskey next to the Wheaties in big box stores thanks to an administrative law judge’s ruling, but advocates for traditional liquor stores say the ruling is a far cry from putting an end to the debate over where hard liquor can be sold.

For at least the past five years, dozens of lobbyists have worked lawmakers to allow the sale of hard alcohol in big box stores instead of from a separate storefront. Last year, it passed by one vote, but was vetoed by Governor Rick Scott.

Trying a new strategy, Walmart and Target turned to an administrative law judge, successfully challenging a rule that defined items customarily sold in restaurants…

The state could also choose to appeal. In that case, the ruling would be put on hold until it gets a second look from the First District Court of Appeals.

We reached out to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation for comment, but did not receive a response.

Read more here.