Nearly one-third of every bottle of alcohol shipped into Michigan from January through March of this year was shipped illegally, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association (MB&WWA).
In total, 408,397 bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan during the first quarter of 2019. It’s estimated nearly 130,000 bottles of wine were illegally shipped into the state during the same period.
“The latest quarterly shipping report shows no signs of the disturbing trend of retailers skirting state law and shipping wine illegally into Michigan letting up,” said Spencer Nevins, president of the Michigan Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association. “When unlicensed out-of-state retailers illegally ship alcohol into Michigan, they are robbing our state of much needed tax revenue and thumbing their nose at the mom and pop retailers that support our local communities.”
Last year, the MB&WWA began compiling data on illegal wine shipments flowing into Michigan. Data from the first and third quarters were unavailable, however data from the second and fourth quarters showed more than 1 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan in just six months, and at least 300,000 of those bottles were wine illegally shipped from out-of-state retailers.
“As more and more data become available each quarter, one thing is clear: Out-of-state retailers show no regard for Michigan law,” Nevins said. “We encourage the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to investigate each and every complaint and continue cracking down on these bad actors.”
The data were compiled using reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state of Michigan.