Barrow enforcing alcohol-import system

Posted: Sunday, May 14, 2000

BARROW (AP) -- The city of Barrow is enforcing restrictions on importing alcohol into the North Slope community approved by local voters last fall.

The rules limit the amount of beer, wine and spirits they can bring in as airline baggage. Amounts exceeding those limits must be shipped through a distribution center, whose users must buy a $25 annual permit and pay a $10 shipment fee, plus a 3 percent local sales tax.

''We worked with Alaska Airlines to develop a way to keep alcohol from entering Barrow as baggage,'' said Barrow Mayor Jim Vorderstrasse. ''What they came up with is they won't ship more than the allowed amount as baggage. The rest has to be shipped as air cargo and go through the distribution center.''

Laminated cards have been distributed to remind passengers they cannot bring more than a liter of hard liquor, two liters of wine, and a gallon of beer into Barrow as baggage, said Dave Burris, Alaska Airlines' passenger service manager.

''We will not be searching any baggage, but if we see someone bringing a couple of cases of beer taped together or a case of liquor, we won't allow them to bring that on board the plane,'' Burris said.

The card also informs travelers how they can ship liquor as air cargo and pick it up at the distribution center.

Shipment to the distribution center is restricted to 11.75 gallons of malt beverage, 20 liters of wine and 12 liters of hard liquor per calendar month.

Barrow's liquor distribution law is designed to eliminate bootlegging and to keep alcohol out of the hands of individuals convicted of alcohol-related crimes, along with those found to have neglected their children or not paid child support.

Restrictions on alcohol as baggage are designed to close a loophole believed to be used by bootleggers and those not allowed to ship alcohol.

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