As I attended the NABCA conference this week, a couple of individuals asked me, “if Irish Liquor Lawyer was going to have a Saint Patrick’s Day post?”

As I thought about, I definitely needed to write on Saint Patrick’s Day, even if it was a small post. So, I decided not only would I write, but that I would incorporate Ireland into the mix as it is Saint Patrick’s Day.

Today, I write about how we could be more like Ireland in our liquor system.

  1. How we can be more like Ireland, Reason 1.

In Illinois it is a Class 4 Felony to sell alcohol into the state without a license. For frame of reference, Jussie Smollet, who staged a racist attack, lied about it, demonized the police falsely, and cost the City of Chicago an estimated $130,000 in police overtime pay was also charged with a Class 4 Felony. Yes, a liquor crime equals a disgraceful criminal act in its legal classification.

How we can be more like Ireland, don’t equate a liquor offense to a criminal offense.

  1. How we can be more like Ireland, Reason 2.

In Ireland, I could be in County Cork and before I visit relations in County Kerry, be able to buy alcohol from a Cork store and bring it into Kerry. Depending where you are in United States, bringing alcohol into a state from another state is considered illegal. Yes, the state makes it a legal violation to buy alcohol from another state and bring it back across state lines.

How we can be more like Ireland, don’t make it illegal for a resident to purchase alcohol from another state.

I love Ireland but it is not perfect

Ireland does not possess some of the crazy laws that the U.S. liquor system contains, nevertheless, Ireland does maintain some bad legal practices. Ireland imposed a minimum unit pricing by the government. When the government dictates the price of a commodity, it leads to unnecessary government interference.  The Irish government believes that the set minimum pricing will lead to a decrease in consumption. However, what they don’t account for is an increase in price will lead people to drive to Northern Ireland and pick up lower priced product.[1]

Similar to America, where a state government thinks raising the alcohol tax is an effective means for tax collecting, they don’t account for residents crossing state lines to obtain cheaper alcohol.

Ireland is a country I love, not as much as the United States, but it is still an amazing place. Like any amazing place it is not nirvana, especially when government officials sometimes set policies not making economic or common sense.

Have a good Saint Patrick’s Day and enjoy the holiday.