It took a ruling from the state Supreme Court to make it happen, but Aiken is set to get a Total Wine & More store.
See, the problem was that South Carolina law prohibits any holder of a liquor license from opening more than three retail outlets in the state. Total Wine already had three locations in South Carolina, so it’s request for a fourth license was denied.
But Total Wine wasn’t taking that lying down. The retail chain sued to have the law struck down as discriminatory and unconstitutional. After losing at the Court of Appeals, Total Wine asked the state Supreme Court to weigh in.
In a 4-1 ruling handed down late last month, the justices sided with Total Wine and reversed the lower court ruling—striking down the state law in the process.
Writing for the court, acting Justice Jean Toal said, “The licensing limits do not promote the health, safety, or morals of the state, but merely provide economic protection for existing retail liquor store owners.”
Toal added, “(E)conomic protectionism for a certain class of retailers is not a constitutionally sound basis for regulating liquor sales.”
So, good news, Aiken. The state Supreme Court thinks it’s unconstitutional for the state to limit your access to a wide variety of wines and craft beers.
Stay thirsty, my friends.