Wine vending machine coming to supermarkets

    The self-service wine kiosks will be installed in 100 supermarkets statewide in Pennsylvania.

    A new high tech wine dispensing machine is on its way to area supermarkets. But minors and those who’ve had a little too much already might want to think twice before trying to beat the system.

    Listen:
    [audio: 091222tmwine.mp3]

    The self-service wine kiosks will be installed in 100 supermarkets statewide in Pennsylvania. Patrick Stapleton is chairman of the Liquor Control Board. He says the machines will check the age of purchasers by having them scan their IDs. They’ll also check the level of intoxication.

    Stapleton: The consumer is asked to breathe toward the machine. There’s a highly sensitive monitor on the machine that will determine blood alcohol level to within 99% degree of accuracy. It’s not invasive, you don’t have to put your mouth on anything, you just have to breathe in the direction of the machine.

    The machines should be operational by late spring or early summer. About 50 will be installed in the Philadelphia region, but only two will be in the city. Stapleton says that’s because there are already 56 stores selling wine in Philadelphia.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    It will take 126,000 members this year for great news and programs to thrive. Help us get to 100% of the goal.