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Transporting Long Island Wines Back Home

Posted by Amanda on 12/14/12

Visiting Long Island wineries is a lot of fun because you get to see the process of wine making and you get to try the wines you love. This may prompt you to purchase some wine to bring home. In fact, this may have been your entire motivation for visiting the winery in the first place. A word of caution when bringing the wine home; there are certain laws about transporting wine across state lines you will need to be aware of. By knowing and understanding the state laws for transporting alcohol, you can prevent a misunderstanding, the loss of your wine and possibly even fines or jail time.

State-by-State Laws

The federal government leaves it in the hands of each state to decide what laws they will enforce in regards to alcohol. There are three main kinds of state laws you will need to be aware of:

  • Reciprocal – This is a law organization that makes it possible to have wines delivered form other states that have reciprocal wine laws. Because New York does not have these kinds of laws, it makes it difficult for you to get wine any other way other than going to the winery and purchasing it. When transporting it, you may be responsible for paying taxes on the wine in your home state.

  • Limited – These laws allow more freedom on the part of the purchaser because there are no restrictions on where you can purchase from. You may be limited in how much you can bring in to the state as well as the taxes you will have to pay on the wines you are bringing in.

  • Prohibited – Those wanting to bring back wines in these states will be limited to only bringing back a couple of bottles. You can forget about bringing back a case. These states include: Florida, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee and Utah. These states require that if you want to have the wine shipped in that it has to be shipped in to a distributor so that e taxes are paid through the distributor. At risk are felony charges if caught trying to violate the laws of the state.

If you are inclined to break the laws of transporting wines across state lines, think back to the days of prohibition. While you may not be help up at gunpoint, you may have your wine seized and face serious consequences.

How to Learn the Law

It is highly important to learn about the laws for your state regarding wine sales or transportation. Doing this before you leave to visit the winery will help you to avoid a lot of hassle. You can contact the state alcohol and tobacco tax division to find out what restrictions you may have on transporting these wines. Do not make an assumption about what the laws are as they are always subject to change. Rather than risking losing your wine and facing possible criminal charges, do a little research before planning your purchases at Long Island wineries.

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