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South Dakotans will be able to bring their own wine to restaurants and be able to take home unfinished bottles if a law passes the SD Legislature. (Image by Mick Stephenson via Wikimedia Commons.)

SD Senate OKs bill to relax restaurant wine rules

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PIERRE -- Customers could take bottles of wine into restaurants that allow the practice, and they could take home their unfinished bottles of wine after their meals, under changes that won initial approval Thursday from the state Senate.

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"For many years, restaurants have sort of operated in a cloud," Sen. Bob Gray, R-Pierre, said. "It seems to be a win-win bill for everybody, the restaurant and the customer."

He is the prime sponsor of Senate Bill 62, which now crosses to the House of Representatives for a committee hearing. The lead House sponsor is Rep. Roger Solum, R-Watertown.

The Senate vote was 31-0 in favor.

Two other features of the legislation would allow restaurants to charge a corkage fee for bottles of wine brought into their establishments, and would let customers take the unfinished portions of wine they bought in the restaurants with them when they leave.

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