Many states have restrictions on the hours in which liquor retailers can sell booze. Arizona is no exception, making it illegal to "sell, dispose of, deliver or give alcoholic beverages between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m." But in a move that will surely have implications for the future of the online booze economy, the state Attorney General has said that this restriction also applies to online alcohol sales:
[T]he way Attorney General Mark Brnovich sees it, you can't get on your computer and order booze between 2 and 6 a.m., even if you're not planning to have your order delivered until more reasonable hours -- and even if that order is going out of state.
The reason all this became a legal issue is because of questions raised John Cocca, director of the state Department of Liquor Licenses and Control. He said the way people buy beer, wine and hard liquor is changing.
"There are a lot more Internet sales and a lot more people ordering alcohol over the Internet or via the computer or over the phone,'' he said.
Web sites in particular operate on a 24/7 basis. They don't even require there be a live body at the other end...
Arizona's liquor laws apply not to individuals but instead to the sellers who all have to be licensed by the state. That includes out-of-state firms that need to get a permit before delivering their products here.
And that means it's the retailer who took that order at 3 a.m., Arizona time, who could wind up in legal hot water...
Read more here.
R Street's Jarrett Dieterle has previously written about the future of the online booze economy for Forbes.