A measure that would allow alcohol to be delivered to your door was well received by a city council committee Wednesday.
The proposal would allow a person to order and pay for alcohol through an online app. Licensed liquor retailers that partner with the app would process the transaction, fill the order and deliver the booze to the front door.
Kansas City’s Neighborhoods and Public Safety committee advanced the ordinance to the full council, which will take it up for final consideration in a few weeks.
State law in Missouri allows for the delivery of alcohol, but a current city ordinance says liquor sales transactions must occur in-store.
St. Louis allows the delivery of alcohol through apps like Drizly that partner with established retailers.
Andy Doohan, whose family owns and operates Mike’s Wine and Spirits, which has locations in Brookside, Waldo and Westport, brought the issue to councilwoman Jolie Justus a year ago.
He told council members that the emergence of delivery apps for everything from fresh produce to laundry detergent has changed consumer’s buying habits. This is an effort for locally-owned businesses to be part of that culture.
He also assured them that a store employee who has been trained to check identification would be delivering the liquor — not an outside contractor.
Unlike some meal-delivery services, someone needs to be home to complete the transaction.
Also, the same rules that apply in-store — don’t sell to minors, habitual drunkards, or people who are intoxicated — would apply at the door at the time of the transaction.
So if a 17-year-old opened the door, the delivery person would not sell them the booze.
Doohan said the liability is on the liquor store.
“From our end, [the transaction] is done knowing that we’re going to suffer any consequences if we do something the wrong way,” Doohan said.
Councilwoman Heather Hall said this service could actually make the community safer by cutting down on buzzed driving from beer-runs.
Still, she said she’s interested in hearing what law enforcement thinks of the measure. Justus assured her she would seek out that input before the full city council votes on the ordinance.
Justus also wanted to clear up some misinformation about the technology.
“This will not allow for drones to come and drop alcohol on your front porch, as much as some people might like that,” Justus said. “This will not be a situation where non-humans deliver alcohol to you.”
Lisa Rodriguez is a reporter and the afternoon newscaster for KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter @larodrig.