Pennsylvanias Driving Out Of State To Buy Liquor

Last month, Pennsylvania closed all of its state-owned liquor stores as a move to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. These closures led some Pennsylvania residents to drive to neighboring areas in West Virginia and Ohio to get their liquor, and now those states are cracking down on their policies.

Crossing state lines to purchase alcohol is a huge public safety risk, as people are being told to shelter in place and only leave their home for essentials only such as groceries and medications. Pennsylvanians who are going to surrounding states for liquor could be a potential health risk to residents of those areas.

To combat this issue, Ohio governor Mike DeWine explained that there will be stricter rules for liquor store sales, CNN reported. In six Ohio counties that surround the Ohio-Pennsylvania border, a valid Ohio photo ID or active-duty military ID will be required to make a purchase. Those six counties include Ashtabula, Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, and Belmont.

“This is necessary because of repeated instances of persons from Pennsylvania coming into these counties for the sole or main purpose of purchasing liquor,” Governor DeWine tweeted on April 15: “Any other time, we’d love to have visitors from PA, but right now this creates an unacceptable public health issue.”

In West Virginia, similar policies are being put in place. So far, three West Virginia counties are banning anyone without a valid state-issued ID from purchasing liquor. Those counties include Brooke, Hancock, and Monongalia. So far, there are no statewide bans in either of the two states.

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