AG Skrmetti Takes Action Against Illegal Alcohol Shipments

alcohol

Making use of the Twenty-First Enforcement Act, TN Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti filed a lawsuit last year against six out-of-state retailers after undercover TN ABC agents purchased and received alcohol from the defendants during six separate investigations, as stated by WSWA. In doing so, TN became the third state to utilize the Twenty-First Enforcement Act, following similar suits brought forth by Attorneys General in OH and MI. 

WSWA say they applaud the recent actions taken by TN AG Skrmetti to hold entities illegally shipping alcohol to Tennessee consumers accountable.

“Wine and spirits wholesalers across Tennessee appreciate the cooperation between the Tennessee Attorney General’s office and the Tennessee Alcoholic Beverage Commission,” said Executive Director Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee Ryan Hynes in a news release. “It is imperative that we enforce our state laws to prevent the illegal shipping of alcohol. Today’s victory against illegal alcohol sales is a step in the right direction and Tennesseans should be proud that we have a modern and robust alcohol regulatory system that protects all citizens.”

Unlawful Alcohol Shipments

Last week, a federal court approved a settlement including nearly $60,000 in civil penalties against five online liquor stores unlawfully shipping alcohol directly to TN consumers without proper licensing, according to WSWA. The defendants were additionally ordered to cease illegal shipments into TN and acknowledge their violations of illegally shipping to consumers. The state of TN is still attempting to negotiate with the sixth retailer in the case. 

As state lawmakers and regulators become more aware of the dangers brought forth by direct-to-consumer (DTC) alcohol shipping, it is imperative that state Attorneys General are aware of the power given to them via the Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act empowering them to enforce violations of their state laws relating to the importation or transportation of alcohol.  WSWA supported the Act’s passage twenty-four years ago and has actively encouraged the use of the enforcement tool due to the numerous concerns that come with illegal shipments of alcohol. 

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