Radical Changes to NYS Alcohol Laws?

A new article in the Albany Times-Union by their “Table Hopping” columnist Steve Barnes states that a new law would overhal alcohol sales in New York State.

According to the article, among the states provisions, it would:

  • Allow stores that currently sell beer (supermarkets, convenience stores, etc.) to also sell wine and liquor.
  • Replace the State Liquor Authority’s licensing system with medallions that could be sold to another operator if a business closes.
  • Allow liquor stores to sell “complementary” items including snacks, mixers, etc.
  • Permit liquor stores to open as early as 8 a.m. and close as late as 3 a.m. (9 p.m on Sundays).

The state hopes that it would foster the growth of New York wines — now relegated only the ghetto of wine/liquor stores — and make them more widely available

Of course, the Liquor lobby is against it, saying it will destroy “Mom and Pop” operations statewide. And who wants to be mean to Mom and Pop?

At the risk of editorializing, I find the Liquor lobby’s claims that wine’s availability in grocery stores will encourage underage drinking to be disingenuous at best. Eighteen year olds aren’t getting drunk on $30 bottles of bordeaux.

Still, do we celebrate the availability of more wine across the state? Or do we worry about our small businesses? Can both coexist?

~ by William H on July 30, 2009.

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