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Garrison Hilliard 21-07-2005 01:06 AM

Judge overturns Ohio ban on wine shipments
Judge overturns Ohio ban on wine shipments

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS – A federal judge cleared the way for unrestricted wine shipments to
Ohio from out-of-state wineries, ruling the state’s limits are unconstitutional
under a U.S. Supreme Court ruling.

U.S. District Judge George Smith on Tuesday struck down the Ohio’s laws and
rules that limited shipments to 15 gallons per family annually of wines that are
not already for sale in Ohio stores. Ohio connoisseurs now can receive any
amount of wine as long as they pay state taxes.

Indiana wineries and Ohio collectors had sued in 2003, but the lawsuit was put
on hold during the Supreme Court case.

The high court in May struck down New York and Michigan laws that banned all
out-of-state wine shipments, reviving Ohio’s lawsuit and affecting similar laws
in 21 other states. State regulators at first argued that Ohio’s laws were
different but stopped enforcing the limits on the type and amount of wine in

Attorneys for the state liquor control division had been working with the court
on the agreed-upon order but hadn’t yet seen the final version, spokesman Matt
Mullins said Wednesday.

A message seeking comment was left with Robert Epstein, lead lawyer for the
wineries and collectors.

Smith noted his ruling applies only to wine. Ohio has similar restrictions on
beer shipments.

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