State May Ban Internet Wine

May 17, 2005
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LANSING — In response to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Michigan’s ban against interstate wine sales, the state has indicated that it will ban the practice altogether.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against bans in Michigan, New York and 23 other states prohibiting out-of-state direct Internet wine sales, declaring it a violation of the commerce clause of the U.S. Constitution. (see Internet Wine For All

In a decision some analysts say could lead to lower prices and more choices for consumers, Justice Anthony Kennedy said the laws at issue in the two states were designed to give in-state wineries a competitive advantage over wineries located in other states.

The ruling effectively says that states must decide whether everyone or no one can sell alcohol over the Internet.

In reaction to Monday’s court decision, Michigan Liquor Control Commission Chairwoman Nida Samona said she will ask state lawmakers to ban all in-state as well as out-of-state shipments of wine.

“There shouldn’t be any shipment of wine or any other alcohol product through the Internet, the mail or any other form,” Samona said. “It should be purchased directly, face-to-face.”    

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