State lawmakers fight back against State Liquor Authority enforcement activity

Both chambers of the New York legislature have passed a bill in response to the State Liquor Authority’s attempt to penalize a retailer for allegedly making illegal direct wine shipments to states whose laws prohibit direct-shipping. The case has been controversial with critics claiming that the state has no legitimate interest in enforcing laws of other states and the disciplinary activities exceed the State Liquor Authority’s jurisdiction. The proposed law, awaiting Governor Cuomo’s signature, “limits the authority of the state liquor authority to penalize licensees based on perceived violations of the laws of other states, unless the conduct in question amounts to an independent violation of the alcoholic beverage control law or has resulted in a criminal conviction in another state.”

This is an interesting legislative and public show of support for the wine and liquor store industry. The proposed law will benefit New York retailers in the future but it is not clear how the pending legislation will affect Empire’s particular pending case, the one that started it all.