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THE NATION

Liquor Law's Status on Hold

April 02, 2002|From Associated Press

RICHMOND, Va. — A federal judge who declared parts of Virginia's liquor law unconstitutional put his ruling on hold Monday to allow state attorneys time to appeal.

U.S. District Judge Richard L. Williams last week threw out a number of state liquor regulations and struck down sections of the code that impose penalties for selling alcohol without a license.

State law limits the importing of beer to those licensed to sell it. Wine can be shipped from another state only to someone with a wholesale wine license.

Williams said the law was discriminatory.

One of the plaintiffs in the 1999 lawsuit, Franklin Houser of Dry Comal Creek Vineyards in New Braunfels, Texas, said Virginia's alcohol-distribution laws create a monopoly-like market that hurts small producers and restricts consumer choice.

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