Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–772. Unlawful importation of beverages.

(a) Only a licensee under a manufacturer’s, wholesaler’s, or common carrier’s license, or retailer’s license under a validly issued import permit shall transport, import, bring, or ship or cause to be transported, imported, brought, or shipped into the District from outside the District any wines, spirits, or beer in a quantity in excess of one case at any one time.

(b) No public or common carrier shall transport or bring into the District wine, spirits, or beer in a quantity in excess of one case per location in any one calendar month for delivery to any one person in the District other than the licensee under a manufacturer’s, wholesaler’s, or retailer’s license.

(c) This section shall not apply to persons possessing old stocks who are moving into the District, to embassies or diplomatic representatives of foreign countries, to wines imported for religious or sacramental purposes, to wine, spirits, and beer to be delivered to the licensee under a manufacturer’s, wholesaler’s, or retailer’s license, or to any persons wishing to have liquor chocolates delivered to their residence. The term “liquor chocolates” may include other types of candies that have small amounts of liquor contained in the candy.

(d) The penalty for violation of this section shall consist of (1) the forfeiture of the beverages transported, imported, brought, or shipped, or caused to be transported, imported, brought, or shipped in violation of this section, and (2) a fine of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01] or imprisonment for not more than 6 months.

(e) In addition to other penalties provided in this section, any person who violates the provisions of this section shall be liable for any tax, penalties, and interest provided for in this title.


(Jan. 24, 1934, ch. 4, § 39; Aug. 25, 1937, 50 Stat. 803, ch. 766, § 4; Dec. 26, 1967, 81 Stat. 728, Pub. L. 90-223, § 1; July 24, 1982, D.C. Law 4-131, § 302, 29 DCR 2418; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 101(cc), 51 DCR 6525; July 18, 2008, D.C. Law 17-201, § 5(d), 55 DCR 6289; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 284(b), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-772.

1973 Ed., § 25-137.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-187 rewrote subsec. (c) which had read as follows: “(c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to persons possessing old stocks who are moving into the District, to embassies or diplomatic representatives of foreign countries, nor to wines imported for religious or sacramental purposes, or to wine, spirits, and beer to be delivered to the licensee under a manufacturer’s, wholesaler’s, or retailer’s license.”

D.C. Law 17-201, in subsec. (a), substituted “case” for “gallon”; and, in subsec. (b), substituted “case per location” for “quart”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “of not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “of not more than $500” in (d).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 284(b) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.