St. Charles lifts ban on home alcohol deliveries
St. Charles officials have decided to lift the city's ban on alcohol deliveries, as long as all parties involved follow existing state and local liquor laws.
The city council on Monday unanimously approved allowing packaged liquor to be delivered to private homes -- a practice had been prohibited other than for special occasions such as a catered event.
Police Chief James Keegan and other officials acknowledged those services were taking place in St. Charles anyway, largely through grocery drop-off programs and common carriers such as GrubHub, Peapod and even the U.S. Postal Service. Monday's vote was the culmination of several weeks of discussions over those services and how they should be regulated, if at all.
Rather than implement rules specific to alcohol deliveries, as was initially proposed, the city's liquor code change points to state statutes and local ordinances already in place. Those laws prevent alcohol from getting in the hands of a minor, Keegan said, and are enough to cover all the bases should an issue or violation arise.
Several St. Charles proprietors and entrepreneurs have expressed interest in offering delivery services that include alcohol, Keegan said.
Meijer, for example, wants to add liquor products to its existing home drop-off program, and the Blue Goose Market plans to launch a similar service soon. Both businesses are working with third-party carriers to pick up the products at the store and deliver them to customers' doorsteps.
"I don't think we're restraining trade here. I think we're broadening trade so that our merchants are in a position to compete," Mayor Ray Rogina said. "I don't think there's anything wrong with that."