Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Just Aint Right
Under Montana law, alcohol cannot be given or sold to any person in Montana, except as specifically permitted by the Montana Alcoholic Beverage Code. Alcoholic beverages cannot be directly shipped from out-of-state to a consumer in Montana. This law applies to alcoholic beverages purchased or ordered by any means, including by telephone or computer. It is also unlawful for a person to have or keep any alcoholic beverage which was shipped to them from out-of-state.
Any alcohol shipped into Montana is a violation of the MABC must be seized by the state, and, in addition, any vehicle being used to transport such alcohol may also be seized by the state. Montana law specifically authorizes the state to inspect records and freight of common carriers for purposes of enforcing the provisions of the MABC. In addition persons or business in the business of selling alcoholic beverages in other states and who import or distribute alcohol into Montana in violation of the MABC are subject to progressive penalties of up to $50,000 per offense.
Your compliance with the law is required. Please immediately cease any sales or shipments of alcoholic beverages to Montana, and cease any advertising which would indicate or imply that sales or shipments of alcohol can be made in Montana.
Above is a letter we received the other day from the great state of Montana’s Department of Revenue, not Homeland Security, although by the wording that was what I would have guessed. Fear not residents of Montana, your state has your best interest at heart. No evil wine stores or wineries will be slipping their wretched alcoholic beverages into your homes….if you wanted them to or not. Even if a friend were to come and visit and brought a bottle of purchased from another state, even that is unlawful according to Montana Alcoholic Beverage Code. They could even be charged….what was it again, oh yes, up to $50,000 for it! They are really putting your tax dollars to work there guys.
The last paragraph is getting dangerously close to stomping all over the First Amendment, are we to remove all the people that live in Montana from our mailing list? Create a force field around our website so that those in Montana cannot view it? Pardon my English, (cover your eyes children) but this is fucking ridiculous….
So there you have it residents of Montana, if the wine you want is not already in Montana you cannot have it. As much as we would like to help you acquire those bottles we cannot risk fines like that, cannot imagine too many retailers that would. Just the fact that any state would monitor where I was buying my wine or the fact that if someone brought me a bottle of wine that they bought in another state could be subjected to fines, or that it is even illegal to do so…..I would pitch such a fit. The Governor would have me on a “Don’t take calls from” list. Utter bullshit, and it just aint right.