House Judiciary Advances Two Alcohol Bills

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The House Judiciary Committee met Tuesday to consider several bills, two of which deal with alcohol laws.

House Bill 4524 permits the sale of alcoholic beverages (beer, wine and liquor) for off-premise consumption throughout the entire state. The bill provides an option for counties to prohibit alcohol sales if their local government chooses so. There are currently 13 dry areas in the state, including counties, towns and cities.

House Bill 4158 permits people of the legal drinking age to manufacture alcoholic liquor for personal or family use. This liquor is not allowed to be sold. Federal laws have criminal penalties for those guilty of this crime currently, where people found guilty can serve up to five years in prison and up to $10,000 in fines. This bill decriminalizes the action of home liquor production in the state of West Virginia.

An amendment offered in committee by Delegate Geoff Foster, R-Putnam, and Delegate Rodney Miller, D- Boone, changed the amount of liquored manufactured in a calendar year under this bill from 100 gallons per person in the household to 50 gallons.

The amendment was passed in committee.

Both House Bill 4524 and 4158 were reported to the full house with the recommendation of passage. The Judiciary Committee also advanced House Bills 4576, 2527 and 4067.