Alcohol Delivery Via Smartphone App? It's Legit
A new app is promising to get alcohol to your home in less than hour (if you're 21 and can pay for it).
See also: Alcohol Delivery App Comes to L.A.
But is it legal? Alcohol regulations in California are super strict. The app, Drizly, is from Boston. State Alcoholic Beverage Control rules say that liquor stores have to take delivery orders over the phone and "must make any alcohol deliveries from the licensed premises."
How can an app do that? Apparently, this one can:
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We reached out to John Carr of the ABC to find out if Drizly would make the grade in the Golden State. Given all the fine print involved with our laws he wasn't immediately sure.
But then he got back to us and said the service is probably kosher.
You see, Drizly actually uses local liquor stores to process your order. Nobody at the app is bringing you booze. Rather, retailers sign on and do all the actual delivering from their premises.
Carr's verdict based on "limited" info he could get about the app:
Prices charged are established by the licensed retailer. The full sale price is passed on to the retailer and Drizly charges the consumer a separate delivery service fee. It thus appears that Drizly is acting as the agent of the licensed retailer. As long as all matters related to the sale of alcoholic beverages, including delivery, are controlled by the licensee, this type of service is permissible.
He said charging a delivery fee was permitted. Drizly charges $5 in Boston. It's not clear how much, if anything, would be charged locally. A rep for the start-up didn't respond to our question about it.
Carr emphasized that certain rules would have to be followed by Drizly:
-Alcohol could only be sold via advance order. (It can't be sold from the vehicle, and no add-ons are allowed once an order is at a customer's door).
-The drinker must show identification proving that he or she is 21 or older.
-"Delivery must be accompanied by a delivery order showing the quantity, brand, proof, and price of the alcoholic beverages; it must show the name and address of the consumer; and it must include the name and address of the off-sale retail licensee."
-That paperwork must be kept on file by the retailer for two years.
Sounds legit. Now everybody have a (responsible) house party. And invite us.
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