Monday, June 08, 2009

The ABCs of Virginia's ABC

Thanks to a link on the Old Dominion Liberty Letter, I discovered this award-winning video that describes how Virginia's alcoholic beverage laws are irrational as well as freedom-eroding:

As I noted in a comment on YouTube, this video only skims the surface of how Virginia's alcoholic beverage laws militate against liberty.

For instance, did you know that Virginia restaurants are forced to buy their liquor from state-owned retail stores at retail prices? They are not permitted to purchase their supplies from a wholesaler on the free market.

What's more, restaurants in Virginia must order their liquor supplies at least 24 hours in advance. This means that, if unexpected business traffic causes a restaurant to run out of vodka on Friday night, it cannot replenish its supplies until Monday morning (at the earliest).

Some of the stupider aspects of Virginia's ABC regulations are being eliminated, bit by bit. One example is the law against sangria -- yes, Virginia had a law against serving sangria -- being repealed last year, through the efforts of Delegate Adam Ebbin (D-49).

Virginia isn't the only state with silly alcohol laws. Even Wisconsin, which one would think is a free-for-all in terms of drinking, has the odd limitation that forbids supermarkets from selling beer and wine after 9:00 o'clock in the evening. (The deadline is midnight in Virginia and other states.)

What explains this strangeness? Well, the Tavern League of Wisconsin is one of the state's most powerful lobbying groups. Their members wanted an oligopoly for selling beer in the late evening hours. Not only can you buy beer by the glass (or bottle) in a Wisconsin bar, you can buy a six-pack over the counter.

So Virginia is not alone. It has a lot of catching up to do, in order to rationalize its liquor laws, but so do other states.

First thing we do, though, is privatize the ABC. Socialism sucks.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...


There is no 24 hour rule to purchase liquor for our restaurant at the ABC store. They are open on Saturdays and in some areas Sundays too. You can call it in and pick it up within an hour.

That video needs some fact checking too, the "identity obscured" supposed bar owner misstates some facts and just plain makes up others. . Do a little research first, THEN claim to be an expert.