Reduced access to minors
With the three-tier system in place, manufacturers cannot sell alcohol products directly to consumers (see direct shipping). Rather, distributors ensure that products are delivered only to licensed retailers who are known to be in compliance with state laws. Only retailers who, to the distributors' knowledge, check consumers for proper identification can sell alcohol to consumers.
Internet and phone alcohol sales by wineries are rapidly becoming an important topic of concern. Consumers who purchase alcohol via phone and Internet must be present at the winery for an initial face-to-face transaction in which the winery must check the consumer's identification. Although wineries would like to do away with this requirement, such a decision would enable minors to order wine via phone and Internet and have the alcohol dropped on their doorstep without any requirement for delivery companies to check identification.