This is the kind of story I like. One with mystery. Who is Burial trying to refuse to sell its beer to? Why are they trying to refuse to sell beer to them? These are the questions I have.
Another question I have is, why does South Carolina make you sell to whoever orders your beer? What if a private club who does not allow women or minorities requests beer from you? Do you have to sell it to them? They aren’t breaking any law since they are a private club and can decide on who is eligible for membership. You would be breaking the law by refusing to sell to them. Also, how has this not been challenged in court?
One thing I’ve found out over the time I’ve been doing this blog and this daily article post is alcohol laws are a very good way to explore the federalist system of laws. We all know it is legal to buy alcohol in the US. That is pretty much the whole of the federal laws regarding the legality of alcohol. That and the federal government mandates the 3-tier system. Once you are past those two restrictions it is up to each individual state to regulate the production, distribution, and retail sale of alcohol.
That means there are 52 different sets of rules that regulate alcohol in this country. Fifty different set to regulate production. Fifty different sets to regulate distribution. Fifty different sets to regulate retail sale. To make it even more interesting some states use their department of revenue to be the primary regulatory agency, i.e. the agency that issues licenses to producers, distributors, and retailers. However, other states use their public safety department (the state police and investigatory agency). This why trying to study the alcohol laws in the US can be so frustrating. Oh yeah, don’t forget that most states allow counties and municipalities to set further restrictions on alcohol as they see fit.
Now, if this is confusing and frustrating for alcohol, what about something that is important? What about health care or education? Understand, I’m not criticizing the federalist system. I think it works. I think allowing the local government make the final decision on how laws should be constructed for their state works very well. However, I see the fault lines in it. The primary fault line being you are counting on not only your voting electorate to be informed and interested, you are counting on your elected officials to informed, interested, and not corrupt.
That is the scariest fault line in this. What if your elected officials are in the pocket of the alcohol distribution lobby? What if they are in the pocket of pharmaceutical companies? What if they take lobby money from people who love the US so much they don’t want anything about slavery or Japanese internment camps in high school history books? What if the public is so uninformed and uninterested to notice these things?
By the way, this is what happens when I do the one article this late in the day.