Photo: Bradley C. Bower / AP Photo
Even though it has some of the toughest liquor laws in the country, Pennsylvania is trying to get creative.
The state, which has strict control over the sale of beer, wine and spirits, has set up wine vending machines, the Associated Press reported. The "kiosks" are being tested in two grocery stores and may make an appearance in as many as 100 others around the state if they're a success.
With the swipe of a driver's license, a snap of the camera and after you blow into a breath sensor, you can purchase wine from the machines.
And customers seem to like them, the AP reported.
"This is just convenient one-stop shopping," Darby Golec, told the AP outside a Harrisburg grocery store. "It'll be nice to have it all in one area."
The vending machines are an attempt to make it easier for Pennsylvania residents to buy booze. Until now, individuals could buy wine and liquor for home consumption only in state-owned stores. Private beer distributors can sell cases and kegs, and smaller stores can sell up to two six-packs per customer, AP reported.
The kiosks are an attempt to modernize the state's liquor sales procedures as they bring consumers "an added level of convenience in today's busy society," liquor board Chairman Patrick Stapleton said in a statement.
Some, however, question the new wine kiosks.
"The process is cumbersome and assumes the worst in Pennsylvania's wine consumers -- that we are a bunch of conniving underage drunks," Keith Wallace, president and founder of The Wine School of Philadelphia, wrote in an email to the AP. "(Liquor board) members are clearly detached from reality if they think these machines offer any value to the consumer."
Exit surveys, however, show that customers find the machines easy to use.
The vending machines are made by Simple Brands. They're about the size of four large refrigerators and have an ATM-like device at one end with a touch-screen. Customers use the screen to choose a wine, swipe their IDs, blow into the alcohol sensor and look at a surveillance camera, the AP reported.
The sale is approved by a remote employee.