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Friday, August 22, 2008

Ind. Decisions - Gary Post-Tribune editorial about 7th Circuit wine shipping decision

Here it is, I laughed out loud:

Teens don't go online to get drunk on wine

The U.S. 7th Court of Appeals in Chicago is afraid teenagers are buying wine online.

Seriously.

The judges are so concerned they've upheld an Indiana law that requires people who wish to buy Indiana wines to meet face-to-face with winemakers who can then verify the buyer's age.

The court wrote that without face-to-face verification, it will "make it easier for minors to get wine by phone or Internet, and sales to minors will increase."

Unfortunately for both the court and for wine consumers, the judges' argument is entirely made up.

It's as if they made a decision based on the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin.

The reason it's fiction is that there never has been one case in the entire United States of minors buying wine online in order to get "crunk," as the kids say.

Had the judges used common sense, they might have realized the folly of the scenario: Some minors want to get drunk in a couple of weeks. So they go online, where fine wines are sold. It's not as though these are cheap, fortified wines. They pay the going rate for a nice pinot noir, pay for packaging and wait several weeks to get snockered on an intense red with hints of oak, fruit and black pepper.

Anyone with a brain knows this doesn't happen in the real world.

Internet wine sales are being fought by lobbyists for retail alcohol outlets who fear losing business.

That's it. It's not about protecting kids. It's about protectionism in what's supposed to be a free-market economy.

The U.S. Supreme Court already has said Internet wine sales are constitutional.

Let's hope further appeals courts share that wisdom.

The most recent earlier ILB entry on Baude v. Heath is from August 16th.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on August 22, 2008 10:07 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions