FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, October 22, 2019
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg today joined a bipartisan coalition of 46 state and territory Attorneys General, led by Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry and Maine Attorney General Aaron M. Frey, in calling on Facebook, Craigslist, and eBay to take proactive measures against alcohol sales on their platforms which frequently violate state laws.
“Any time a consumer seeks to buy a product, whether alcohol, or any other item, they expect it to be safe and also to be what it claims to be,” said Ravnsborg. “As we state in our letter, we must especially protect ‘those who are most vulnerable to fraud’ by remaining vigilant and alerting consumers to keep South Dakota safe.”
In the letter, the Attorneys General note that the 21st Amendment invests the right to regulate the sale of alcohol to each state, and points out concerns that unlicensed, unregulated, and untaxed alcohol sales are taking place on digital platforms. Some of the products sold on this platform may be counterfeit or tainted, sometimes with harmful health effects. The consumer may not know that this method of alcohol sales is illegitimate, or that these black-market products could pose health risks.
The letter asks Facebook, Craigslist, and eBay to take the following specific actions:
Review the current content posted to the companies’ websites and remove illegal postings for the sales and/or transfer of alcohol products.
2. Develop and deploy programming to block and prevent your platform users from violatingstate law by posting content for the sale and distribution of alcohol products on their websites.
The Attorneys General also invited the companies to join with them to form a working group with stakeholders from government and industry to further explore how to establish practical and effective protocols for preventing illegal alcohol sales.
In signing the letter, Attorney General Ravnsborg joins the attorneys general of Louisiana, Maine, Alabama, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa.
NAAG – Online Sale of Alcohol Letters
The Office of the Attorney General is the chief legal office for the State of South Dakota and provides legal advice to agencies, boards, and commissions of the State as well as representing the State in state and federal court. The Office of Attorney General also handles prosecutions, felony criminal appeals, civil matters, consumer protection issues, and issues formal opinions interpreting statutes for agencies of the state. Visit www.atg.sd.gov to learn more.
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CONTACT: Tim Bormann, Chief of Staff, (605) 773-3215