WASHINGTON, D.C., 10/08/2020 – Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) commends Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel for applying the Twenty-First Amendment Enforcement Act, a federal statute that allows state attorneys general to take action to enforce their state’s liquor laws in federal court, against offenders illegally shipping alcohol into Michigan.
“Attorney General Nessel is joining a standard-bearer group of attorneys general who are taking action against those who directly ship alcohol to consumers (DTC) for a profit – which is illegal -- at the expense of law abiding businesses operating in Michigan who care about their communities and are remitting taxes that go to critical state and local programs at a time that it’s very much needed,” said Michelle Korsmo, President and CEO of WSWA. “DTC disregards the health and safety of Michigans, and we believe this exemplary action will help to usher in similar enforcement by more attorneys general,” added Korsmo.
According to Nessel's office, in limited instances, a manufacturer may ship wine directly to consumers, but only if it is licensed to do so. Neither entity in the lawsuit is properly licensed in Michigan to allow for direct-to-consumer shipping.
“Our state’s liquor laws were drafted to protect the health, safety and welfare of Michiganders, and my office will use its authority to aggressively enforce those regulations,” Nessel said. “I want to make it very clear that companies who do business in Michigan must follow the rules, and my office will continue to work with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to ensure our laws are respected.”
Nessel's actions also go after the offenders for violating Michigan’s Consumer Protection Act by misleading Michigan consumers to think that the companies’ activities are legal. Violations of the Consumer Protection Act are punishable by fines of up to $25,000 per violation.
About Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America
WSWA is the national trade association representing the distribution tier of the wine and spirits industry, dedicated to advancing the interests and independence of distributors and brokers of wine and spirits. Founded in 1943, WSWA has more than 380 member companies in 50 states and the District of Columbia, and its members distribute more than 80 percent of all wine and spirits sold at wholesale in the United States.