Indiana Senate backs bill loosening rules on wine sales

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Indiana residents will have an easier time having wine shipped to their homes under a bill approved by state lawmakers.

The state Senate voted Tuesday to give final legislative approval to eliminating the current requirement that residents having wine shipped to them first conduct a face-to-face transaction at the winery to ensure that the buyer is at least 21 years old. The proposal would require buyers to provide a copy of a government-issued ID to confirm they are of legal age.

Supporters of the change say it will boost Indiana wineries and give wine consumers more choices. Sponsors say 41 other states currently have similar rules on wine shipments.

The law, enacted in 2006, was challenged in court, with the trial court finding it unconstitutional. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed in 2008. The Supreme Court of the United States declined to take the case in 2009.

The House approved the bill last week. It now goes to Gov. Mike Pence for consideration.

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