New proposal would allow liquor sales in grocery, convenience stores

PITTSBURGH — A new bill in the Pennsylvania House would allow consumers to buy distilled spirits like vodka and whiskey in more places, including grocery and convenience stores.

“They system that we have proven to work through the law changes with the selling of the wine, my bill simply extends that to spirit sales as well,” said Rep. Tim O’Neal.

The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States calculates that the state currently has 0.68 spirits outlets per 10,000 people. The national average is 3.27 spirits outlets per 10,000 people. The council believes this bill would boost small businesses and increase state revenue.

“The state of Pennsylvania, with only 620 state stores, is well underserved. This legislation would level the playing field and provide greater shopping opportunities from the Pennsylvania consumers,” said David Wojnar with the council.

“It makes more sense for the consumer,” Samuel Prescott said.

Prescott says he agrees with the idea, but others said there could be dangerous consequences.

“I would not be excited for it. I feel like when people get more liquor, they get confidence in themselves. To make that easier to access, I feel like more crime is committed when there is liquor,” Charles Hayes said.