Liquor store delivery bill passes through Arkansas Senate committee with no oppositions

We’ve heard from so many of our consumers that delivery and curbside pickup is just the way of the future,” said one liquor store owner.

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — The Senate Committee of City, County, and Local Affairs passed Senate Bill 32 authorizing retail liquor permit holders to deliver alcohol directly to consumers Tuesday morning. 

Presented by Republican Senator Jane English, no one on the committee opposed the bill. Gov. Hutchinson’s emergency order allowed for delivery because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Senator English said that act allowed for people 21 and older to order and receive alcohol at their place of residence in wet counties, excluding third party delivery services.

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“What we’re hoping to do is pass the bill so that once the pandemic, if ever, is passed, this will still be a good business model for liquor stores,” said Senator English to the committee Tuesday morning. 

She said liquor store owners brought the proposal to her. It keeps people from having to go out to a store during a pandemic. It also puts accountability on the stores to make sure rules and regulations are still in place, like not selling alcohol to anyone underage.

“There’s lots of registration, so we know exactly who it was that was delivering it and exactly where they’re delivering it; who it was that was ordering it and who was that was receiving it,” she said.

John Akins is co-owner of Legacy Wine and Spirits and said he’s excited about the committee passing the bill. He’s hoping that senators look at the bill with accountability and economic appeal in mind. 

“It’s just retail liquor stores and their employees that are doing these deliveries and not third parties,” Akins said. “So there’s opportunities for jobs, because we’re going to have to hire people to be those delivery drivers.”

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Clark Trim is president of Colonial Wine and Spirits and said so far, the process and systems of delivery for the last nine months have been flawless. 

“We have had no one try to abuse the system. We’ve had no one under the age try to get alcohol delivered. We’ve heard from so many of our consumers that delivery and curbside pickup is just the way of the future,” said Trim.