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Wine Comes In Vending Machines?

By Wyatt Earp | August 8, 2010

Apparently it does in my home state of Pennsylvania. Why was I not informed?

Probably because I don’t like wine in the least, I guess.

Kim sent me this story, which by itself is pretty funny, but I still can’t get past the idea of a wine vending machine. Coke, Mello Yello, Pinot Noir.

Pennsylvania residents can buy wine from vending machines but first they must pass a breath test to prove they haven’t been drinking. The state, which already controls sales of wines and spirits through a network of 620 state-run retail stores, is testing out two wine kiosks at supermarkets in Harrisburg and in nearby Mechanicsburg.

After selecting a bottle of wine from the 55 on display customers must insert a driver’s license showing they are over 21, the minimum age to legally buy alcohol in the United States.

Their identify is verified via video link by a member of the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) who can see the customer in front of a camera installed in the kiosk. Next customers must blow into a breathalyzer to make sure their breath-alcohol level is not more than 0.02, or just one quarter the legal limit for driving. If it is, the sale will be denied.

Ah, the miracles of modern technology. Excelsior!

(Bitter has her take on this atrocity here.)

Topics: WTF? | 17 Comments »

17 Responses to “Wine Comes In Vending Machines?”

  1. Ckuhner Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Um, how is the breathalyzer thing cleaned? That would creep me out too much to ever want to try this thing if a did actually drink wine.

  2. proof Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I still think the topper is the drive through liquor store I saw in Florida. No chance of a DUI there!

  3. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 10:40 am

    Ckuhner – Wow, I never thought of that. Hopefully, there were alcohol wipes nearby.

    Proof – I’d be parking at the end of the drive through, just waiting for my arrest to come by.

  4. Pirate's Cove » Blog Archive » Sorta Blogless Sunday Pinup Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 10:49 am

    [...] in vending machines? Awesome! Support Your Local Gunfighter has the [...]

  5. Edee Elwell Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 11:57 am

    That just seems so strange to me as you can buy wine in the grocery store here. And really, yuck on the breathalyzer!

  6. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 12:01 pm

    Edee – I took a trip to Syracuse when I was just out of college. We went to the supermarket and noticed they sold beer there. It was unbelievable, since in PA they won’t allow it.

  7. Morgan Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Hey, alright, now unrefined slobs like me can get access to quality wine for only 50 cents! Move over Pepsi and Coke!

  8. Ingineer66 Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 12:11 pm

    A Breathalyzer and a video conference with the ABC. This will operate as planned for almost as long as the solar powered garbage cans in Philly. Why not just have the clerk at the 7-11 sell you the wine. Seems cheaper and easier to maintain to me.

  9. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    Morgan – You can get two bottle of Thunderbird for that price!

    Ingineer66 – And you get a “Thank you, come again” from the clerk.

  10. Bob G. Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    Sorry but having grown up in Philly (and driving over the “Tac-Pal” bridge a LOT for beer, wine, and liquor…hey, it was CHEAPER there in Jersey…LOL) seeing a VENDING MACHINE for wine in PA just doesn’t seem right.

    What’s next?
    Freeze-dried Pat’s Steaks?


    They DO still have the STATE stores, right?

  11. Bitter Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    My blog has recently become single topic: raging against the PLCB. These machines are such a joke. They are crazy expensive, require more staff to sit and stare at screens all day for the “visual verification,” and after some reporters asked people what they thought about buying bottles from it, they all said they would never do it again.

    The breathalyzer isn’t cleaned, so don’t go near one during flu season – or any season. It’s also so sensitive that you can’t even use mouthwash within at least half an hour of using it.

    It’s an attempt to desperately hold on to power as more and more people realize how much our state liquor system sucks.

  12. Kim Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 7:04 pm

    You get the wine, but does it come with a corkscrew and some cheese?

  13. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Bob G – Every now and then I like to slum with some Steak-Ums.

    Bitter – Despite what that tool Michael Smerconish says when he plugs them, the PA LCB is an out-and-put monopoly. And they wonder why people buy in Jersey.

    Kim – Probably not the cheese you’d want.

  14. bob (either orr) Says:
    August 8th, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    The LCB — Pennsylvania’s best advertisement for sobriety.

  15. Veeshir Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 10:04 am

    So they make sure you aren’t drunk before selling you vino from a vending machine?

    Which seems counter-productive to me.
    I mean, I would have to be pretty trashed to want to use that particular device.

    In VA you can get vino at the supermarket as well as beer. I’ve always thought that was odd.

  16. Wyatt Earp Says:
    August 9th, 2010 at 11:12 am

    Bob – And second-biggest advertisement for corruption.

    Veeshir – Yeah, you have to get that at state store or a beer distributor.

  17. JJ W Says:
    October 18th, 2010 at 2:21 am