Alderman Boyd Proposes Bill to Re-Legalize Sale of Mini "Airport" Liquor Bottles

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Can't buy or sell these little guys, technically -- unless Alderman Boyd changes the law.
Psst. About that pocket-sized bottle of booze you're nipping off. Yeah, the one you bought within city limits: it's contraband.

Those 50-milliliter bottles -- good for warming tummies in business class and on the street corner alike -- became illegal to buy and sell in the City of St. Louis last winter, when the city's overhaul of the Excise Code took effect.

Barely anybody noticed, says Alderman Jeffrey Boyd of the 22nd Ward. But now, folks in the liquor business have convinced him to propose a bill that would change the law back to the way it was so that vendors could stay in compliance.
"I bet if you went into a liquor store today, you could buy one," Boyd tells Daily RFT. "It was one of those small-print things that got changed, and we never sent anything out to notify anybody."

The legislative change effectively outlawed the airport bottles, Boyd says, by prohibiting the sale of any container smaller than 51 milliliters (previously, the minimum was 50 ml -- the exact size of most airport bottles).

The Alderman wants the minimum changed back to 50 ml.

Excise Commissioner Bob Kraiberg says the change was subtle and didn't get a lot of attention. "I suspect the reason was to decrease street drinking," he says, "but [buying a small bottle] seems like an expensive way to buy liquor. If you're somebody who's not interested in going home to consume your liquor, I'm thinking a half-pint might be more cost-effective."

As for enforcement, Kraiberg offered this: "I can't say it's a priority for us to go out searching for airline bottles. It might be something we'd discover on a routine investigation, but it's not like we're out looking for it."

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