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Alaska city sets new limits on individual alcohol possession

January 7, 2020 GMT

BETHEL, Alaska (AP) — New laws limiting the amount of alcohol that can be legally possessed took effect in a southwest Alaska community.

The new rules went into effect Monday, two days after the city’s only liquor store was set to close, KYUK-AM reported.

Under the rules, a person of legal drinking age cannot possess more than 10.5 liters (2.8 gallons) of distilled spirits, 24 liters (6.3 gallons) of wine or either 12 gallons (45 liters) of beer or a half keg of beer, which holds 15.5 gallons (59 liters).

Luggage flown into Bethel will need to be clearly labeled with an itemized invoice of any alcohol in the baggage.

The requirement applies to baggage holding more than 2 liters (0.5 gallons) of wine, 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of beer, or 1 liter (0.26 gallons) of distilled spirits.

The state of Alaska will also track how much alcohol Bethel residents order per month in a database that will not be accessible to the general public.

Bootlegging and providing alcohol to a person under 21 will both become felonies. They were previously misdemeanor offenses.

Purchases of wine and beer at Bethel restaurants will be allowed to continue under the law.

Caribou Traders Liquor Store, which was expected to close Saturday, was the only alcohol retailer in Bethel after the state Alcohol Beverage Control Board refused to renew AC Liquor Store’s license in May.