Delaware

Delaware May Soon Allow Alcohol Producers to Sell Each Other's Products

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In many states, distilleries, wineries, and breweries are restricted to selling only their own products in their on-site taprooms or tasting rooms. But now Delaware has taken a step forward to allow producers to sell products from other producers, as reported by Delaware Online:

Have you ever been to a craft brewery in Delaware with a friend who doesn't drink beer either because of taste or a gluten-free diet?

Well, they won't have to sip water any longer.

The state Senate voted unanimously Thursday to allow Delaware's craft alcohol-makers to sell each other's products, effectively allowing breweries to sell wine.

A spokesman for Gov. John Carney would not comment on whether or when Carney would sign the bill into law...

The new rule would take effect immediately once signed, allowing each of the state's 30-plus alcohol-makers to decide whether they want to sell their products at other craft locations and vice versa.

The move offers more for choice craft drinkers, ushering in a new era where a customer could conceivably drink a glass of wine from Marydel's Harvest Ridge Wineryat Blue Earl Brewing in Smyrna...

Read the rest here.

Delaware Latest State to Consider Lowering the DUI Threshold

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Delaware lawmakers are considering a bill that would lower the state's drunk driving threshold from .08 BAC to .05. This proposal comes on the heels of Utah's recent decision to lower its threshold to .05--a move which triggered a significant backlash and was even opposed by the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. WDEL has the story from Delaware:

House Bill 320, if passed, would change the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) required for driving under the influence arrests from .08 to .05, a legislative measure aimed at reducing drunk driving and the fatalities that they cause.

In Delaware, nearly 60 percent of alcohol-related traffic fatalities involve drivers with BACs of 0.15 and above, while only about 2 percent of traffic deaths involve someone with a BAC between the legislation’s targeted interval of 0.05 and 0.08, according to ABI [American Beverage Institute].

Sarah Longwell, Executive Director of ABI, said the legislation would hurt the hospitality industry because social drinkers will feel that extra drink will lead to a DUI, and then other people won't even be able to have one drink because of their weight.

"The .05 limit is so low that it would essentially mean a 120 lb woman would be in a position of being arrested after a single drink," said Longwell. "It's going to have a tremendous chilling affect on moderate, social drinkers who otherwise would have gone out to happy hour dinner, split a bottle of wine with their spouse. At this point, splitting a bottle of wine with your spouse would put you absolutely in a place where you would get arrested if you drove home." ...

More here.

Proposed Delaware alcohol tax increases draw criticism

The Delaware legislature is considering raising alcohol taxes to help plug a hole in the state budget, but the alcohol industry is fighting back. Matthew Albright has the story for The News Journal:

Critics of proposed increases to taxes on income, alcohol and cigarettes packed Legislative Hall on Wednesday to argue the hikes could hurt the state's small businesses and economy.

Legislative leaders said they didn't like asking for tax hikes, but said they were a necessary evil given that state government is still in a budget hole of hundreds of millions of dollars...

The tax that drew the most criticism Wednesday was a plan to raise taxes on beer, wine and spirits. So many distributors, brewery owners and liquor store owners flooded the basement hearing room that legislative staffers had to herd them into the cafeteria, where the meeting was shown on a television screen.

'Prices will go up. Of this, there is no doubt,' said Jay Hibbard, vice president of the Distilled Spirits Council. 'When prices go up, sales go down.'

Schwartzkopf said he intends to file an amendment to lower the amount of the proposed increase from what was originally proposed.

Here are the new rates: on a six-pack of beer, from 9 cents to 15 cents; on 750 milliliters of wine, from 19 cents to 32 cents; on 750 milliliters of spirits, from 74 cents to 89 cents. 

Representatives of several Delaware breweries, including Iron Hill and Dogfish Head, said the tax increase would harm a budding industry...."

Read more here: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/21/tax-increases-opposition/417792001/