PA Still Arresting for Bootlegging

Pennsylvania’s state run liquor stores lose millions of dollars a year in sales because folks who live near a state border chose to leave the commonwealth and make their purchases in a neighboring state (aka "border bleed’). This should come as no surprise. Who can blame consumers for choosing to purchase products at a better price? Or, wanting to buy something not available in Pennsylvania?

That is a bit of a trick question because the PA Liquor Control Board can blame them.

A few Pennsylvania residents found themselves caught up in a sting operation of sorts just before Memorial Day. Their crime? Buying alcohol in Delaware and bringing it back into Pennsylvania. According to the Daily Local News:

"The State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement conducted a Border Patrol detail at two Delaware malls looking for out-of-state residents purchasing alcohol and bringing it back into Pennsylvania.

"According to police, the detail ran from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Tri-State Liquors in the Tri-State Mall and at Total Wine and More in the Northtowne Plaza, both in Claymont."

As you have likely gathered, it is illegal to buy alcohol outside of Pennsylvania and bring it back into the state. Don’t worry though, if you ever take that dream vacation to France the folks at the PLCB will be kind enough to let you bring one gallon of wine back with you.

What if you can’t find the type of wine you are looking for? Well that is an easy fix (or as easy as a prohibition-era system can make it). According to the LCB website:

"Section 488 of the Liquor Code provides that Pennsylvania residents may purchase wine over the Internet and have it shipped to one of the Board’s approximately six hundred twenty (620) wine and spirits stores of their choosing, where they may pick it up, provided such purchases are made via the Internet from direct wine shippers, who have been licensed by the Board. [47 P.S. § 4-488]. The following additional conditions apply to such direct wine shipper orders: Pennsylvania residents may only order wines that are not listed in the Board’s Internet catalog of available wines…

"In addition, liquors and wines not listed for regular sale through the Board’s wine and spirits stores may be acquired by residents of the Commonwealth (including licensees of the Board) via special liquor order ("SLO"). [47 P.S. § 3-305]…."

Sounds easy, right?

The level of government control exorcised over this avenue of commerce in Pennsylvania is enough to make Joe Stalin proud. It is beyond ridiculous for any elected official of the commonwealth to believe that the current system can simply be "modernized".

Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania (CAP) is a non-profit organization founded to raise the standard of living of all Pennsylvanians by restoring limited government, economic freedom, and personal responsibility. By empowering the Commonwealth’s employers and taxpayers to break state government’s "Iron Triangle" of career politicians, bureaucrats, and Big Government lobbyists, this restoration will occur and Pennsylvania will prosper.