COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolinians may soon be able to get beer and wine delivered to their doors. State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow alcohol delivery across the state.
If the bill passes, people 21 and over could order beer and wine from a store and have it delivered to their houses. Stores could use a delivery service app or have their own delivery drivers.
Representative Beth Bernstein of Richland County said Thursday that the bill was filed before the pandemic. However, COVID-19 has shown even more of a reason to be able to get drinks without leaving home.
"It became really more of a health issue because we didn’t want people to feel like they had to go to a grocery store to purchase their beer and wine when they didn’t have to do that for their groceries," said Bernstein, who sponsors the bill.
One shoppers outside Green’s Beverage agreed, "I think it'd just be convenient. It'd keep me from having to be here right now."
According to Shipt, a delivery app and service, 40 states already have laws that allow alcohol delivery. However, some worry the bill would make alcohol too accessible.
"Of course it's going to pose safety concerns," said another shopper. "I'm pretty much old school, so I'm more familiar with going to the store and purchasing your own alcoholic beverages."
Representative John McCravy told News19 at the State House he thinks the bill doesn't have enough safe guards. "We need to make sure that we don’t have minors getting a hold of alcohol and using it irresponsibly," McCravy said.
But Bernstein said they've put in procedures to prevent that from happening. She said the customer's ID would be scanned before the delivery driver handed over the order. Plus, all drivers have to at least be 21 as well.
Another House bill recently introduced would allow retailers to offer curbside pickup for beer and wine. Many stores currently do this because of the pandemic, but this bill would make that permanent.
Lawmakers will likely begin voting on both the delivery and curbside bills next week.