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article imagePennsylvania may bring beer-buying laws into the 21st Century

By Sandy Sand     Feb 19, 2010 in Politics
A Pennsylvania state senator held a “bust the antiquated beer laws” rally in the state capitol surrounded by a cheering crowd of six-packers, who want the state’s outdated beer-purchasing laws moderated.
As the law stands, cases of brew containing four six-packs can be purchased only at beer distributorships, or two six-packs can be bought at bars or restaurants, usually at greatly inflated prices.
Montgomery County State Sen. John Rafferty, Jr. (R) is leading the six-pack law change by sponsoring a bill that will allow Pennsylvanians to buy single six-packs of beer at grocery and convenience stores in addition to local beer distributorships.
"We're interested in seeing that the people of Pennsylvania who want to purchase beer, purchase it where they want to. It’s time for Pennsylvania to move from an antiquated and unsafe system to one that is modern, safer and customer-friendly," Rafferty said. "This proposal has overwhelming public support."
Additionally, the bill will require 100 percent carding. Everyone, no matter how old they appear, will be required to show his driver’s license, and sellers will be required to have electronic verification machines to ensure that purchases are not being made by minors.
There will also be reinforced enforcement efforts making age compliance checks stronger. This part of the measure will be funded by the initial $25,000 license fees and $2,500 annual fees.
Although such efforts to change Pennsylvania’s beer laws have been defeated in the past, Rafferty and other six-pack supporters of the bill are encouraged by recent changes that allow some supermarkets to sell alcohol, and will be the momentum to change the laws.
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