Making, following, and monitoring rules costs time and energy, some of which is inefficiently spent. In 2006, Illinois passed a law allowing diners to take a half-full bottle of wine home from a restaurant. Now, in order to save $23 million in federal highway money, state legislators must take time away from some of the state’s most pressing issues to make a small revision that the wine must be carried in the trunk. From Crain’s Chicago Business:
The state law amended the Illinois open-container law, allowing diners to carry resealed bottles home in a special tamper-proof, one-use-only bag. The amendment passed by wide margins in the Illinois House and Senate and took effect last year.
However, (a U.S. Department of Transportation) letter says, the law failed to specify that the bottle has to be carried in the trunk or in the rear of the vehicle, in order to meet federal requirements. Illinois has 30 days to issue a rebuttal and show why its law does comply with federal requirements. The letter puts the state on notice that another 3% must be transferred next year unless the law is changed.
A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Transportation says the state was “surprised by the letter and the stand they’re taking,” because federal authorities were notified about the change in the open-container law last year and no one “objected at the time.” The state is looking at amending the law or using regulations to make it clear that bottles must be carried in the trunk or rear section of a vehicle.
“We’re working on it,” the spokesman says. “We’re not concerned about losing funds.”
Hat tip: Kirk Hartley