Lawmaker Wants USPS to Bring You Your Booze
Proposal would overturn Postal Service’s ban on delivering wine and beer.
Federal statute currently bars anyone from mailing any type of booze through the U.S. Postal Service.
“All spirituous, vinous, malted, fermented, or other intoxicating liquors of any kind are nonmailable and shall not be deposited in or carried through the mails,” reads the U.S. code, a ban that dates back to 1909.
Rep. Jackie Speier, D-Calif., has proposed a bill to change that. The northern California congresswoman would allow USPS to deliver the products of wineries and breweries.
Speier borrowed most of the language for her legislation from a provision in a Senate bill that cleared the upper chamber last session but died in the House. Under the measure, the Postal Service would have to comply with existing state laws about shipping alcoholic beverages. Speier's bill has been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee
Currently, alcohol shippers are forced to resort to private mailers, such as FedEx and UPS, to deliver their products.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told Time in 2012 that e-commerce would lead to rapid acceleration of shipping beer and wine if Congress allowed it to do so. He said USPS would require the recipient’s signature upon delivery to ensure no underage drinkers were attempting to order booze online.
He even proposed custom boxes designed to fit two, four or six bottles of wine to ship at one flat rate.