Pennsylvania tests high-tech wine vending machines

    If a Harrisburg-area test run goes well, shoppers may soon be able to buy wine at grocery stores across Pennsylvania.

    If a Harrisburg-area test run goes well, shoppers may soon be able to buy wine at grocery stores across Pennsylvania.

    The new wine kiosks are a high-tech affair.

    Shoppers need to insert their drivers’ licenses into a scanner, and then stand in front of a high definition camera, which a Liquor Control Board staffer will monitor from a remote location to make sure the ID is legitimate.

    After that, consumers will need to blow into a breathalyzer.

    The sale is denied if shoppers have a blood alcohol level above .02.

    LCB Chairman PJ Stapleton says the hoops are worth jumping through for an easier shopping experience.

    “And here in the supermarket, where you have a great cheese shop next door and a great butcher shop next door,” says Stapleton, “to match these wines with these great foods is the way they should be sold.”

    Right now, two pilot kiosks are up and running in Harrisburg-area supermarkets.

    The LCB plans to start introducing kiosks in western Pennsylvania stores later this summer, and expand them to central and eastern portions of the state by mid-November.

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