An eagerly anticipated shipment of Williams Selyem Pinot Noir arrived at my office last week. My wife and I usually ship our wine orders to my office because a signature is always required and we know for sure that someone over 21 will be there to sign for it. Upon examining the most recent arrival, I noticed something new on the label. It now reads:
APPROVED WINE SHIPPER
CANNOT DELIVER TO INTOXICATED
How absurd is this, and whom exactly does this protect? Most parties I host usually end well before the bar runs dry and I’m forced to order more wine and have it delivered via UPS. Maybe I’m just not familiar with the urgent dangers of those week-long benders that require having cases of wine shipped to me in order to satisfy my unquenchable thirst for alcohol. Heck, this even sounds like a responsible thing to do — at least I’m not getting behind the wheel of a car to buy more booze.
So I did some digging and found that California’s Business and Professions Codes covering the importation and shipments of alcohol, Division 9, Chapter 4, Section 23661.2 states that the package shall be clearly labeled to indicate it cannot be delivered to a minor or to an intoxicated person. So does this mean that in addition to asking for ID at the time of delivery that UPS should be required to administer a breathalyzer test to the person signing for the package? Clearly some lawmaker was pandering to some vocal constituency when they slipped this vitally important and quite unenforceable regulation into the codes. Things like this really increase my confidence that our elected officials and government bureaucrats are focusing their time and energy on important issues.
At least I can take comfort in the fact that our receptionist was not drunk when she signed for this shipment.