GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. - Nearly one-third of every bottle of wine shipped to Michigan between January and March was shipped illegally, according to data compiled by the Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association.

There were 408,397 bottles of alcohol shipped into Michigan during the first quarter of 2019. In the same period, an estimated 130,000 bottles were illegally shipped.

“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.”

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The MB&WWA began compiling data on wine shipments flowing into Michigan last year, and data from the second and fourth quarters showed more than 1 million bottles of alcohol were shipped into Michigan in just six months. At least 300,000 of those were wine illegally shipped from out-of-state retailers.

The data was compiled using reports from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and excise tax data from the state of Michigan.

“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.”

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