Barrow delays enforcement of liquor law

Posted: Sunday, April 02, 2000

BARROW (AP) -- The Barrow City Council has delayed enforcement of a change to the city's liquor law that bans importation of large quantities of booze as airline baggage.

City officials said they need to work with Alaska Airlines to come up with a good way to enforce the amended local-option law, which officially went into effect Saturday.

The law requires that anyone bringing in more than a liter of spirits, two liters of wine and a gallon of malt beverage must do so through the delivery site.

Delivery site users must purchase a $25 annual permit and pay a $10 shipment fee, plus a 3 percent local sales tax.

Barrow Mayor Jim Vorderstrasse said officials at the airlines feel they have the obligation to return travelers' baggage directly to them at the end of their trip. But airline employees can advise travelers that they must ship liquor to the distribution center.

Another option might be for the airlines to ban shipment of liquor as baggage into Barrow.

''The airlines have been cooperating with us on this. We just need some time to figure out what would be the most effective method of control,'' Vorderstrasse said.

The liquor distribution center ordinance, which was enacted last fall, is designed to slow the flow of alcohol into Barrow, limit bootlegging and keep alcohol out of the hands of individuals under court order not to consume.

The fear is that people bringing large quantities of alcohol as baggage are either doing so to bootleg or because they are not allowed to possess a permit.

Among those who can't own permits those found guilty of child neglect or not paying child support.

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