Pennsylvania has some pretty strict liquor laws, requiring almost all alcohol to be sold by beer distributors or in state-owned liquor stores with very strict guidelines, none of which sell rare vintages of wine. Which probably explains why Philadelphia lawyer Arthur Goldman built himself an extensive wine collection at home. It also helps to illustrate how daunting of a task that must have been. And explains why, after he sold a few bottles to other collectors, his entire collection of almost 2,500 bottles of wine was confiscated by the police.
Goldman has been given a probationary sentence aimed at allowing him to eventually clear his record, which would be good for him as a lawyer. Chances are in most of the country what he did would be ignored, but he’s unlucky enough to live in Pennsylvania. He was also allowed to get back a mere 1,043 bottles for himself, but the other 1,404 bottles have a less sure fate.
Luckily, a local hospital, Chester Country Hospital in West Chester has filed a petition to receive that wine. In an obscure law, which apparently has never been used, seized liquor can be sold for charity purposes, which is exactly what the hospital wants to do. They want to sell the wine, which will no doubt fetch a high price, for charity, which could be a huge boon for them, or anyone they decide to share that money with.
According to Trooper Adam Reed, spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Police, this law has never been used, which is a shame. Although seizing liquor might not be a terribly common practice in Pennsylvania these days, it obviously happens sometimes, and that liquor might as well be put to good use. Unfortunately, it’s not a clear case, so we have to wait until September 3, when Chester County Judge Edward Griffin will decide whether or not the hospital can have the wine. Otherwise, it will likely go bad in evidence.