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Maryland Politics
Posted at 12:40 PM ET, 07/26/2011

Prince George’s liquor board gives preliminary approval to limiting home delivery

The Prince George’s liquor board on Tuesday gave unanimous preliminary approval to new rules to tighten home delivery of alcohol.

The final vote is scheduled for Aug. 3. Under the rules, it would now cost $250 per year and require a purchaser to prove that he is 21 or older. On campus deliveries are banned and stores would be required to reapply annually for permission to deliver.

The Prince George’s county council and some state lawmakers are opposed and say they may ask the General Assembly to further limit home deliveries.

Delivery has been legal in Maryland since 1947.

But the board decided to take a closer look at the practice after the owners of Potomac Gourmet, a boutique food store in National Harbor, realized that under the board’s rules, they needed to formally ask for permission to deliver alcohol and receive a letter allowing them to deliver.

A handful of stores in the county have been delivering liquor, a practice that is more common in urban areas such as the District.

The new rules would require that a deliverer be at least 18 (the drinking age is 21), and be trained in alcohol management practices. The rules would also require careful recordkeeping by the store doing the delivery so that liquor inspectors could be assured that the purchaser is at least 21.

It’s already against the rules to deliver to the University of Maryland’s College Park campus. The new rules would add Bowie State University to the forbidden list.

Permission to deliver would now cost the applicant $250, and a review by the commission. Previously, it was free.

None of that has satisfied the Prince George’s County Council, which asked the liquor board to delay action so they could ask the General Assembly to ban it.

Several council members have raised questions about the whole notion of home delivery, suggesting that it might make it easier for underage drinking to take place.

Maryland recently began allowing mail-order wine delivery. Prince George’s also has drive-through liquor stores.

The board is responsible for enforcing liquor laws and giving out alcohol licenses in the county.

An earlier version of this story incorrectly reported that the board gave final approval to the new rules. It has been corrected.

By  |  12:40 PM ET, 07/26/2011

 
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