Illinois killjoys strike again

I saw this Q&A exchange on the Chicago Tribune's Web site and felt it deserved sharing. It started with a reader's letter to food and wine columnist Bill Daley in the wake of Illinois' latest crackdown on consumer rights. Here's a snippet of it, although you can read the full exchange here:

Q: As a wine consumer and former distributor employee, I am sadly aware of the new law effective June 1 preventing me from ordering wine from out-of-state retailers. (Do the legislators really think that a 16-year-old kid looking for a Saturday night pop is going to order Silver Oak from a California wine shop? We all know that the bill "protects" just one class: wine distributors.)

What I have been unable to establish is just what the penalties are for violating this law. Assuming that I could persuade an out-of-state retailer to ship to me — as I am thinking of becoming a test case if no one else will — who is fined/arrested/whatever: the retailer, me the consumer, or both of us? And what are the specific penalties?

— MaryAnne Spinner, Chicago

A: Far be it from me to tell you to break the law by driving into Wisconsin, Indiana or Michigan some weekend and loading up your cooler-packed trunk with wine you can't find here. Nor would I dream of suggesting you send a check to a friend or family member in a more lenient nearby state and asking them to order your desired wine from an online but out-of-Illinois retailer.

But just imagine all the catching up you can do with loved ones while sipping your verboten booty.

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