CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Concerns about underage drinking are prompting West Virginia lawmakers to consider barring self-scan beer and wine sales.The House Judiciary Committee endorsed a bipartisan measure on the subject Thursday.
Supporters say the proposal is similar to the current requirement of face-to-face sales for tobacco products. They argue store clerks assigned to multiple self-serve checkout machines can become distracted and wave through an underage buyer.But the committee also learned of a bait-and-switch tactic by underage shoppers. They self-scan a case of soda and then use it to hide beer they have in their cart. Several committee members questioned how the bill would stop this form of shoplifting.A lobbyist for the state Retailers Association said it opposes the measure. It advanced to House Finance on a non-unanimous voice vote.