No more beer runs? Alabama Senate committee passes bill to allow alcohol delivery

Beer Piggly Wiggly
Six packs at the Piggly Wiggly in Mountain Brook. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Well, it looks like the Alabama legislature has taken a step to make beer runs to the local grocery store obsolete. Just kidding.

This morning, the Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee  passed legislation that would allow the delivery of sealed beer, wine and liquor from grocery stores, restaurants and other licensed retailers to homes in Alabama. 

The alcohol home delivery legislation, Senate Bill 126, is sponsored by State Senator Jabo Waggoner of Vestavia. The measure passed the committee 10-1. 

The companion bill in the Alabama House of Representatives is HB 229 sponsored by Gil Isbell.  

Alcohol Delivery is Taking Off

Shipt downtown Birmingham, Alabama headquarters. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

If big acquisitions predict the future, it looks like alcohol home delivery is about to take off.

The passage of this legislation comes on the heels of the $1.1 Billion acquisition by Uber (the ride hailing service) of the Boston based alcohol delivery service Drizly earlier this week. 

The bill is also supported wholeheartedly by our neighbor here in the Magic City, Shipt.  

“It’s important the right rules are in place to help ensure safe alcohol deliveries to homes throughout the state, which is why we support the legislation introduced by Rep. Isbell and Senator Waggoner.” Evangeline George, a Shipt spokeswoman, said in a statement that appeared in Yellowhammer News.

The Details

Wine at the Piggly Wiggly in Mountain Brook. Photo via Pat Byington for Bham Now

Curious how the alcohol home delivery legislation will work? Below is the legislative synopsis of SB126 – sort of the “Cliffs Notes” way to read Alabama legislation.

“Under existing law, delivery of beer, wine, and spirits to a residence is prohibited. 

This bill would provide for a delivery service license issued by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board that would allow the licensee to deliver sealed beer, wine, and spirits from certain licensed retail establishments directly to individuals in Alabama who are at least 21 years of age for their personal use.

This bill would provide for the licensing process and establish certain restrictions and requirements for delivery service licensees.

This bill would authorize certain employees of a delivery service licensee and certain independent contractors of a delivery service licensee to deliver beer, wine, and spirits to individuals in Alabama.

This bill would provide for the sale of table wines at retail in containers approved by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board.”

What Will Happen Next

Montgomery Alabama
Photo by: Pat Byington of the Alabama State Capitol

Alcohol home delivery legislation in Alabama looks promising. It has already passed a Senate committee on the second day of the legislative session. Can it make it through the Senate and House? We’ll see. Meanwhile, throw on your mask and keep perfecting the “art” of the beer run.

Stay tuned.

Pat Byington
Pat Byington

Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.

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