(Gillette, Wyo.) Last week at City Council, Riley Hunter and Grant Edmunds of Creative Beverages were present for the first reading of a proposed city ordinance
that would amend Section
3 of Gillette's City Code to include the following:
(K) No retail liquor licensee shall deliver or cause to be delivered
or malt beverage to any person whatsoever, except at the licensed premises.
(L) No person shall engage in the business of making deliveries of
alcoholic liquor or malt beverages from the place of any retail liquor
licensee in the city.
Edmunds and Hunter presented the preliminary results of a public survey
they hosted online, which predominantly showed support for liquor delivery.
Council seemed surprised by the results and want to see more before the
next two readings of the ordinance.
Supporters point out that liquor delivery is already happening -- albeit at
a snail mail's pace -- around Gillette and Wyoming, as wine, beer, and
spirits dealers from out of state are allowed to deliver to residents via
the U.S. Postal Service and other parcel delivery services. One of their
arguments against the ordinance is that allowing local businesses to
deliver to residents would keep money spent on liquor in Gillette.
Currently alcohol delivery services, like through third party apps, are
legal in 43 major cities, but none really in Wyoming. The Wyoming Liquor
Division says there is delivery in some smaller Wyoming towns, but no
official ordinance they could talk about that regulates those deliveries.
Concerns were raised that the person who orders and pays for the alcohol
might not be the one receiving it. Creative Beverages assured council
members that they will be checking credit cards with IDs before delivery is
complete, and that portable ID readers can make that possible for their
drivers. This is not to say, however, that every business in town to take
advantage of delivery service would also be as diligent, which was another
concern of the Council's. But Hunter claims paying for the service via
credit card automatically makes it easier to track where the alcohol is
Chief of Police Jim Hloucal was present at the meeting and was asked by the
council for his advice. He said he felt it would encourage underage
drinking, and hasn't seen evidence that it reduces drinking and driving or
"Though common sense would dictate a reduction in drunk driving, common
sense is rarely involved with drunk driving in the first place," he said.
Council members seemed to be in agreement, voting 5-2 in favor of the
ordinance, claiming that to spend thousands of dollars to prevent underage
drinking in the past, and then turn around and make it more accessible,
would be irresponsible.
Councilmen Tim Carsrud and Dan Barks were the only dissenters Tuesday
night. Carsrud then took to his own Facebook page to solicit residents'
In general the council was unhappy with the first version of Edmunds and
Hunter's online survey, so they have drafted a second one
help with public comment. The next city council meeting is May 3rd.
*Photo h/t Peggy Lachmann // Pitchengine Communities*