Floridians, your wine glass may soon runneth over.
Rep. Chip LaMarca, a Lighthouse Point Republican, is the bill sponsor.
Currently, vendors who sell wine in a container larger than a gallon commit a second-degree misdemeanor, punishable by a $500 maximum fine and 60 days in prison.
LaMarca’s proposal, however, would allow the sale of wine in a container of any size.
“This serves no good policy to criminalize the sale of a bottle of wine based on the container size and the statute should be repealed,” LaMarca said.
Moreover, the repeal, LaMarca contended, also makes for better wine.
“Large format bottles tend to age more gracefully as they have less oxygen exposure,” he said. “Of course, these colossal trophy bottles also deliver the granger of a wow factor.”
If signed into law, the bill would take effect July 1.
This isn’t LaMarca’s first try at the gallon wine bottle. Last Session, he unsuccessfully filed a bill to repeal the same law.
That bill (HB 6037) died in the Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee.
LaMarca’s latest proposal joins other bills looking to rethink booze sales in the Sunshine State.
Sen. Jeff Brandes‘s companion bill (SB 142) is slated to appear before the Rules, Regulated Industries, and Commerce and Tourism committees.
Sen. Jennifer Bradley and Rep. Josie Tomkow are sponsoring bills (SB 148/HB 329) that would allow Floridians to enjoy a cocktail-to-go. Those proposals have already cleared their first panels unanimously.
The flurry of booze-related-proposals comes after the Department of Business and Professional Regulation allowed bars and restaurants to sell drinks to-go amid the pandemic and its subsequent lockdowns.
The special permission, however, will end with Florida’s COVID-19 state of emergency.
Notably, some lawmakers and Gov. Ron DeSantis are supportive of booze-to-go proposals.
“I’m for it being permanent, and I think that you’ll probably get a pretty good reception in the Legislature just based on the experience and just based off everyone having to go through what you guys have gone through,” DeSantis said in September.