For Wine With Groceries, Take A Breath Test Pennsylvania officials are testing wine kiosk machines that could become available to grocery shoppers statewide for the first time. But the machines don't give wine to just anyone. Customers must swipe their licenses and wait to have their age and identity verified via video. Then comes the breath test.
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For Wine With Groceries, Take A Breath Test

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For Wine With Groceries, Take A Breath Test

For Wine With Groceries, Take A Breath Test

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/128549419/128600418" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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LIANE HANSEN, Host:

Scott Detrow of member station WITF in Harrisburg explains.

SCOTT DETROW: So, Nina Yochum was excited and surprised by the tall, glass display case of wine when she walked into a grocery store just outside of Harrisburg this week. It's one of two automated wine kiosks Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board is testing out as a way to sell wine in grocery stores.

NINA YOCHUM: Unidentified Woman: Swipe your payment card through the card reader as shown in the video.

DETROW: The machines cost around $100,000 each and are made by Pennsylvania company Simple Brands. But Pennsylvania liquor officials need to make sure purchasers are over 21 and sober. In order to buy wine, you need to swipe your driver's license into the machine, and then wait as a state employee sitting in a central office verifies your identity through a remote camera.

YOCHUM: Oh, my gosh. I didn't see that. Oh, that's really interesting.

DETROW: Unidentified Woman: You are required to perform a test to measure your breath- alcohol concentration. Please take a deep breath and blow firmly into the breath alcohol sensor as shown in the video.

DETROW: After buying her bottle of white wine, Yochum decides she won't be a repeat customer.

YOCHUM: I've never gone through so much trouble for a bottle of wine before. I don't know. I don't know if this is going to go over or not. I mean, it's...

DETROW: Why?

YOCHUM: ...it's kind of a hassle.

DETROW: Paul Boyer agrees. He cautiously eyes the kiosk while Yochum pries open the door and reaches up to the top shelf to retrieve her bottle.

PAUL BOYER: Why don't you just put it out on the shelves like all the other states? We always have to do something a little bizarre.

DETROW: For NPR News, I'm Scott Detrow in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

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