Pennsylvania tests bottle vending machines, complete with breath-testing machines, in supermarkets.
Customers seem to think that they are better than the alternative, the alternative being patronizing Pennsylvania’s archaic state store system, which makes the traffic circles in Washington, D. C., look like marvels of forethought:
Individuals can buy wine and liquor for home consumption only in state-owned stores staffed by public employees. Private beer distributors sell cases and kegs only. Licensed corner stores, delis, bars and restaurants can sell beer to go, but only up to two six-packs per customer (and often at bar prices–ed.).
Numerous attempts at reform have been turned back by special interests intent on keeping their slice of the pie. So simply stocking Chianti and cabernet on supermarket shelves is not an option under the state’s post-Prohibition liquor laws.
One cannot blame Pierre L’Enfant for not foreseeing that horses would give way to automobiles. The Penna. state store system has no such excuse.