Mississippi cracks down on illegal wine shipments
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Everyone is looking for a convenience factor these days. But one thing that's out of reach if you live in Mississippi is wine delivered to your front door.
Mississippi is suing four online wine companies after they shipped to minors and dry counties in the state. But there is a proposal to change the laws on this issue.
This liquid line up all got shipped into the Magnolia State despite the laws making it illegal.
"Bootlegging's bootlegging whether you got designer clothes or overalls," said Department of Revenue Commissioner Herb Frierson.
Agents from the Attorney General's office and members of the Revenue Department's Alcoholic Beverage Division logged on and tried to buy wine. Out of 63 companies, 22 sold it to them. But get this.
"Went online and intentionally made it clear these were underage children," explained Attorney General Jim Hood. "All they had to do was to go check online and see what the age of the person was. Some kind of age verification system is what I think they have the duty and due diligence to go do. But no, they shipped it actually knowing it was a young person that was cleared."
The Department of Revenue Commissioner says the state's also losing out on $6 of revenue for each $25 bottle of wine.
"We've either got to change the law or we've got to enforce the law," noted Frierson. "The current position at ABC and the Department of Revenue is we're going to enforce the law till policymakers do something different."
The consensus is that many folks may not even know this practice is illegal.
"I think there has been some wine shipped into the state out of ignorance," said Representative Charles Busby.
Busby filed the bill that would change that. He says they've included measures to address the state's concerns.
"Every package has to be signed for and then they have to produce an ID that shows that they're over 21 years old," Busby said. "And the box has to be labeled-alcoholic beverages, must be 21."
The proposed legislation would also require companies to register with the Department of Revenue to ensure the state sales tax is collected.
Copyright 2018 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.