December 18th, 2008
In one of the most regulated and restricted states in the US, residents may now special-order alcohol online. The Utah Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (DABC) announced that Utah residents may use an online Special Order Form to purchase alcohol that is otherwise unavailable in the State’s liquor stores. The alcohol would then be shipped to a DABC store location of the buyer’s choosing for pickup. Available since September of this year, the system was relatively unknown until recently due to limited exposure.
Residents of Utah may special order from any licensed vendor located in the United States, which includes producers, authorized agents, and wholesalers, among others. For Utahns ordering international products, they must order the product from a licensed US importer. All vendors, of domestic and international products alike, must be registered with the DABC. There is no cost associated with registration. For more information about what type of vendor to order from and how to register as a vendor refer to the website.
After deciding on the product and vendor from whom to purchase, the ordering process is very straightforward. Some important information required for ordering includes the product name, size and vintage and also the specific DABC store location and date desired for pickup. When ordering, Utahns should keep in mind that vendors may not ship products individually and be prepared to order by-the-case. Also, applicable sales taxes (state and local) are paid by the consumer.
Although the order form takes a relatively short amount of time to fill out, delivery takes much, much longer. The buyers should expect delivery 45 days after the DABC receives the price quotation, at the earliest. This is due, in part, to the custom nature of each order.
The fact that Utah, a heavily controlled state, created an easy-to-use order form for residents to purchase almost any alcoholic beverage available in the US (albeit with a lengthy transaction completion time line) is an acknowledgement of the importance of consumer access and choice. However, it is very important to note that the new special order form does not allow direct shipments to Utah residents because the products may only be picked up at a DABC store.