Transporting Alcohol Across State Lines

Let’s say you have a boss wine collection that you need to move. And let’s also say that you’re moving to a different state. You certainly wouldn’t be unique. Thousands of people transport alcohol across state lines every year.

But what if you get pulled over for speeding and the officer sees your wine collection?  Could moving your wines into that state lead to you getting a ticket… or worse?

Read our article about how to transport alcohol over state lines to get an in-depth answer. Read below for some quick insights.


The U.S. Constitution

Let’s start with the Feds.  The 21st amendment U.S. Constitution let us all drink again, but it also said this:

“The transportation or importation into any state, territory, or possession of the United States for delivery or use therein of intoxicating liquors, in violation of the laws thereof, is hereby prohibited.”

Essentially, that made it a Federal crime to violate state laws regarding the transportation of alcohol.  But do any states actually make it illegal to transport alcohol into them?


The States

Some states impose criminal penalties for those who transport alcohol across their state lines.

For example, until 2009, it was a misdemeanor in Tennessee to bring any amount of alcohol into the state. SERIOUSLY. (Tenn. Code Ann. § 39-17-703).  In Pennsylvania, it still is illegal.  (47 P.S. 4-491(11)).

Whether these are archaic laws whose days are numbered or laws put on the books to wring taxes and fees from the public, the point is they’re there.

Now, let’s be real… if you bring a 12-pack with you when you move, nobody is going to care.  How would they even know you brought it into the state? Plus, put it in your trunk, and who’s ever going to see it?

However, if you bring 12 kegs and an entire home bar, we might have a different story. For that, officials might care. So, do check the statutes of the state you’re moving to and any other state you might be passing through.  They might require you to buy a license or get approval from a state board first.  We recommend that you do what they say just to make sure you won’t end up with a big fine, confiscated goods, or even jail time.


Moving something more, um, unsavory than alcohol? Learn how to hide embarrassing things from movers.

About Devie Lin

Read blogs written by Devie Lin and find information related to moving & relocation on the Moving Blog by Moving Guru.
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One Response to Transporting Alcohol Across State Lines

  1. Pingback: My in-laws are better than your in-laws | Al Dente: A blog about eating

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