Saturday, September 09, 2006

Weird Oklahoma Liquor Laws

Oklahoma has some odd liquor laws. We still have wet and dry counties. There are many Mexican restaurants where you cannot by a margarita on a Sunday.

Unlike most other states, liquor is not sold in the grocery store. It can only be sold in liquor stores. But if the alcohol content of the item is less than 3.2%, it's not considered liquor and it can be sold at convenience stores and grocery stores. BUT, you wouldn't want the police to see you drinking this non-liquor in your car, because if they see you, even 3.2% beer/malt beverages magically become liquor. Or some such silliness.

Another oddity is that Oklahoma won't let you bring refrigerated liquor into the state. There's a Colorado beer called Fat Tire that refuses to sell here because they have a policy of refrigerating the beer until it arrives at the store. They say it tastes better. Guess I'll never know unless I go to any of the surrounding states, where it is sold.

The latest liquor controversy is the ability to sell wine on the internet. This is currently prohibited in Oklahoma. The primary argument against it being that it will contribute to underage drinking. I feel this is an argument that sounds logical, but no study has been able to show a rise in teenage drinking because of internet wine sales. There are two reasons: it takes a few days to ship to the product, and most teens are not going to have the forethought to order wine several days in advance of a weekend party. And wine is just not a party drink like beer or malt beverages.

Before I went to the Grape Ranch last Labor Day weekend, I went to the Grape Ranch website, and they have a link to petition your Oklahoma State Representative to see where he stands on the ability to sell wine via the internet. Mine is State Representative Ron Peters. I received a letter from him yesterday, and here is his reply:

Dear Mr. Wallace:

Thanks for your letter on your ability to purchase the wines you want in the manner of your choosing. You asked that I let you know where I stand on the issue.

I am big on the free enterprise system and its ability to choose the winners and losers in the marketplace. As you might guess from this, I too am a strong believer in allowing you to choose how and where you make your purchases of ALL items, including wine.

Thank you for communicating with me on this manner. Please continue to communicate with me on matters of interest to you. If using e-mail is simpler for you, I can be reached at Also, I will be on the ballot this fall and would appreciate your vote.


Ron Peters

So perhaps internet wine sales are just around the corner.

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