Alcohol delivery bill watered down by regulations, licensing requirements

Alcohol delivery bill watered down by regulations, licensing requirements

A bill (H.4364) recently passed by the S.C. House would allow retailers to offer curbside pickup or at-home delivery of beer and wine, subject to licensing requirements, fees and other regulations.

To offer delivery, a retailer or delivery service working on their behalf would have to pay a $400 nonrefundable license fee and maintain a liquor liability insurance policy of at least $1 million dollars. Employees providing delivery services must undergo a background check and complete a training program approved by the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS). 

Training would also be mandatory for employees providing curbside pickup, along with a new license for participating businesses. However, it's not immediately clear if the other requirements apply for this service (such as the $1 million policy rule).  

While giving businesses more flexibility to sell their products and meet customer needs is a great idea, the bill in its current form creates unnecessary burdens for retailers that will make these options less attractive. In addition to the $400 application fee, there are extra costs that accompany mandatory background checks and training programs, likely paid by participating companies. That’s less money in the hands of entrepreneurs to invest and grow their businesses.  

Instead of creating a new licensing regime, South Carolina should simply amend current law to let retailers offer these services and use existing rules and regulations, where feasible, to ensure safety.


William Morton is a research intern for the South Carolina Policy Council