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Don't Participate In Secondary Sales

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Division of Liquor Control and the Ohio Investigative Unit strongly reminds Ohio consumers to not sell or buy liquor on the secondary market. 

Secondary liquor sales often occur on the internet including on social media websites such as Facebook and other sites such as Craigslist. Typically, sellers will purchase bottles of liquor and turn around to resell them. 

Secondary sales cases can result in fines and/or jail time. In 2021, OIU received 34 referrals resulting in 32 warnings and two arrests compared with 50 referrals, zero arrests, and 47 warnings in 2020, and 24 referrals, 11 arrests, and four warnings in 2019. More than 70 percent of cases were referred to OIU’s Cincinnati district.  

“The controls in place are there to ensure the contents inside the liquor bottles are safe,” said OIU Commander Erik Lockhart. “When alcohol is purchased from authorized sources, buyers can ensure the contents inside are genuine and safe.”

In Ohio, consumers may only purchase spirituous liquor from authorized sources such as an OHLQ location, which are private businesses that sell the product on behalf of the state of Ohio, or permitted retail establishments, such as bars and restaurants.

“We appreciate the efforts OIU takes to keep the market fair and consumers safe,” Division Superintendent Jim Canepa said. “Ohio consumers who purchase their liquor the right way support small businesses that sell these products legally and avoid buying counterfeit or tampered with products.” 

OIU and the Division will continue to investigate secondary market liquor sales. If you know of anyone selling alcohol illegally, contact your local OIU District Office.  

The Ohio Investigative Unit is charged with enforcing the state’s liquor laws and is the only state law enforcement agency specifically tasked with investigating food stamp fraud crimes. Agents also investigate tobacco violations. Follow OIU on Facebook and on Twitter.     

The Division of Liquor Control is part of the Ohio Department of Commerce, Ohio’s chief regulatory agency. The Department is focused on promoting prosperity and protecting what matters most to Ohioans. We ensure businesses follow the laws that help them create jobs and keep Ohioans safe. To learn more about what we do, visit our website at com.ohio.gov.