The delivery of alcoholic beverages to homes in Louisiana is expected to begin in a couple of months. Legislators passed two measures at their fiscal session that paved the way for the deliveries.
The fact that some liquor deliveries have already been taking place was one motivation for lawmakers to sponsor the legislation. New rules are needed since the digital age is spurring new ways to purchase many popular consumer items.
One business owner said, “All of our wine, beer and liquor in stock is already on our website for you to buy online. You just have to choose to pick them up at the store; we can’t deliver them.”
Ernest Legier, deputy commissioner of the Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, said the two months of preparation are needed to accept and approve applications from businesses to deliver beer, wine and liquor. Restaurants and stores appear to be ready to begin the deliveries.
The Advocate reported that Waitr, the Lake Charles-based restaurant delivery service that has operations around the state, has been one of the main backers of the deliveries, along with Rouses markets.
Chris Meaux, CEO of Waitr, said, “Waitr looks forward to helping our restaurants grow their businesses ever further. Pending final permitting, we’re looking forward to delivering beer and wine to our customers’ doors.”
The two legislative measures establish a number of rules for the home alcohol delivery service. Beverages must be in a factory-sealed container, so restaurants won’t be allowed to sell cocktails. Delivery drivers will have to go through the same alcohol training as bartenders and waiters to ensure they don’t serve liquor to intoxicated customers.
Drivers will have scanners to make sure the customer who placed the order is older than 21 and has a valid ID. Businesses won’t be allowed to deliver liquor outside of the parishes in which they operate. Alcohol deliveries also can’t be delivered to schools and college campuses.
Legier said also under consideration is whether the state will require customers to order food with their liquor or whether there will be a limit on how much alcohol can be delivered at one time.
Two main goals, he said, are to create a system that offers customers the immediate gratification of having alcohol delivered to their home through online services and to ensure public safety. Restaurants, package houses and grocery stores that deliver direct and third parties hired to do the deliveries will have to purchase state permits.
The legislation appears to include all of the protections necessary to ensure safety and provide a service preferred by today’s consumers.