New Mexico Towns Ban C-Store Alcohol Sales

Other states discourage frustrated booze buyers from crossing state lines.

April 16, 2020

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—City councilors in Gallup, New Mexico, have banned the sale of alcohol at local convenience stores in an effort to curb an increase in COVID-19 cases, reports local KRGE-TV.

The councilors believe that banning alcohol purchases at c-stores will prevent transients and homeless people from buying it, sharing it with others and drinking out of the same bottle, possibly spreading the COVID-19 virus. Opponents of the ordinance argue that homeless people can still go to a grocery store to purchase alcohol, since the ban only applies to c-stores. But officials insist the ban will remain in place while the state's health crisis order is in effect.

The move comes after a similar ordinance was passed recently in McKinley County, New Mexico, which has been hard hit by coronavirus cases.

In Pennsylvania, alcohol is also difficult to acquire, according to The Hill. In mid-March, the governor shut down the “state stores” that sell spirits and wine. On April 1, amid complaints from citizens, he allowed online purchases, but disgruntled shoppers claim the website’s hours are irregular and unposted, making purchases next to impossible.

In response, Pennsylvania residents have been driving across state lines to buy their booze. But this week, Delaware Gov. John Carney banned out-of-state drivers from entering Delaware unless they work for an essential business, are caring for a family member or need to be there for health-care reasons. State police are authorized to stop cars without Delaware tags.

Ohio also has stopped liquor sales to out-of-state residents in the counties bordering Pennsylvania, according to In order to purchase liquor in those counties, buyers must show a valid Ohio ID or military ID.

In Monongalia County, West Virginia, authorities are limiting the sale of alcohol to shoppers with a West Virginia driver’s license or other state identification, reports in a separate article. Officials say it’s one way to encourage social distancing and reduce the spread of the COVID-19.

Coronavirus Resources

NACS has compiled resources to help the convenience retail community navigate the COVID-19 crisis. For news updates and guidance, visit our coronavirus resources page.