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South Carolina House Approves Legislation Allowing Alcohol Delivery and Curbside Pickup

South Carolina curbside alcohol delivery

South Carolina House Passes Alcohol Delivery and Curbside Pickup Legislation

In a landmark regulatory move, the South Carolina House of Representatives has given approval to a bill permitting the delivery and curbside pickup of alcoholic beverages. This measure sees South Carolina aligning with over 30 other American states that already provide alcohol access through these methods.

Modernizing Alcohol Sales in South Carolina

Bill H.4364’s primary proponents assert that it represents a significant update to the way alcohol sales are conducted within the state. Representative Gil Gatch from Dorchester County shared during the House debate, “This bill will modernize South Carolina’s alcohol sales to offer the convenience customers have come to expect.”

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Following this convenience-focused argument was Representative Weston Newton from Beaufort County, the bill’s lead sponsor. He, in fact, held up two bottles of bourbon that he had purchased online from out of state and delivered to his South Carolina law offices—circumventing both the state’s regulations and taxation—a scene that perfectly framed the need for regulatory updates.

Controversy Amid Potential Alcohol Abuse and Underage Consumption

Despite a healthy array of supporters, the bill was not without its critics. Representative John McCravy from Greenwood County expressed concerns that the new legislation could exacerbate issues such as alcohol abuse and underage drinking. He painted an illustrative image, stating, “It’s like a bunch of kids are going to get together, and they’re going to get their senile granddaddy to call them in some liquor, and then when it gets to the house, the senile granddaddy’s going to be pushed to the door, and they’re going to get their liquor.”

Bill supporters, however, were quick to rebut these apprehensions by underscoring the regulatory steps included in the legislation to prevent such scenarios. The foundational safeguards include the obligation to verify the customer’s age through a valid ID, restricting deliveries to the same zip code or neighboring ones as the retail establishment, and limiting delivery hours to coincide with standard in-store purchase times. Judging by the statewide vote of 77-29, these safeguards seem to have addressed the vast majority of concerns.

Next Steps for the Alcohol Delivery and Curbside Pickup Bill

The bill will now move to the South Carolina Senate for consideration. It should be noted that a similar bill has already passed through a Senate committee, although it has been obstructed by ongoing Republican opposition since last year. Whether this counterpart bill overcomes its current roadblocks will significantly determine the future of alcohol delivery and curbside pickup in the state.

In the meantime, South Carolinians wait with bated breath to see if the convenience of alcohol delivery and curbside pickup they were granted temporarily during the pandemic, can once again become a reality.


South Carolina House Approves Legislation Allowing Alcohol Delivery and Curbside Pickup

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