Local wine store owner talks alcohol delivery bill as it moves through legislature

Published: Feb. 12, 2021 at 6:19 AM CST
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Alcohol delivery could soon be a thing in Alabama, essentially allowing beer, wine and liquor to be delivered the same way you can get dinner or groceries brought to your door.

G. Todd Daniel, owner of the Wine Rack, said it’s a good idea, but probably won’t be able to help small businesses like his.

“Us small guys it’s just not going to help us that much because we don’t have enough business to justify it,” he said. “Plus, can we afford bringing on a driver, paying for insurance and stuff like that? I don’t think so.”

The bill in question is Senate Bill 126 by Sen. J. T. Waggoner, R- Birmingham. It would require the entity that wants to deliver to file an application with Alcohol Beverage Control Board, a one-time $100 filing fee, a yearly $1,000 application fee and an insurance policy for the delivery drivers.

Todd said when you add all of it up, he doesn’t think it’s worth it for his business.

“Business to make that up would be a lot, I still don’t see it happening for us little guys,” he said.

When he looks at ways to make it work, one of the options could be raising prices on his product, but he doesn’t want to do that.

“Do we want to raise our prices to justify the gas and stuff like that?” Todd said. “But I don’t think the customers want to see that.”

He did say another way to make it work could be a partnership with delivery services.

“Maybe we get Uber with those guys involved and they might be able to, but otherwise it’s not going to happen with us,” Daniel said.

Or he said it could work if several small alcohol stores in town all partnered together.

“We could all maybe get together as all the small businesses in town and just hire somebody to do it for all of us,” Daniel said. “That might keep them busy enough but I don’t think the business will work otherwise.”

At the moment, Todd said he doesn’t see the bill helping him, but sees it as a great move for Alabama liquor laws and hopes it gets passed.

SB 126 was passed by the Alabama Senate on Thursday, it will head to the Alabama House of Representatives next and, if passed there, will move to Gov. Ivey’s desk to signed into law.

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