General Question

bolwerk's avatar

What are the consequences of lying to the US Post Office about the contents of a package (specifically, the presence of alcohol)

Asked by bolwerk (10231 points ) March 26th, 2011

I was trying to ship my friend some homemade beer as a gift. Completely legal, completely safe. No law against it in either of our jurisdictions. Seems the US Post Office has a policy against shipping alcohol, even when it’s legal in both places. They allow shipment of non-alcoholic beverages, but not alcoholic ones. Being that shipping alcoholic beverages is no less safe than shipping alcoholic ones, I can only assume this is one of many laws/ules that can be safely ignored from a moral standpoint. As far as I know, there is no US federal law prohibiting this. However, from a legal standpoint, what are the consequences? Would they x-ray the package and see something that looks suspiciously like a beer bottle? I can only imagine this policy exists because of the Wahhabi Protestant ethos that pollutes many United States institutions.

(If you must know, I finally just went to UPS rather than going to another Post Office and lying about it. But that was just because UPS was closer, and they didn’t care one iota what I was shipping.)

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6 Answers

BarnacleBill's avatar

I think it has more to do with terrorist activity than Wahhabi Protestant ethos….or the BATF and excise taxes for shipping liquor across state lines.

Send it by UPS or FedEx.

janbb's avatar

Is this a question or a rant?

bolwerk's avatar

@BarnacleBill: why would terrorists be sending alcohol? Islamic terrorists oppose it as much as their Christ-coddling brethren in U.S. evangelical circles. USPS lets you ship anything else, including animals, microbe cultures, and non-alcoholic beverages.

@janbb: I was just providing background. The “rant” part sincerely perplexes me, and I didn’t want people whining because I implied I did lie to them. I was just curious about the consequences, since it would have been convenient to lie to them.

BarnacleBill's avatar

@bolwerk, liquids of any kind. Explosive. Reactive. Boom. You cannot carry bottled liquids onto a plane for the same reason.

You also cannot mail a tableknife through the mail in a #10 envelope, should your daughter’s boyfriend happen to leave his mother’s silverware at your home. Since you don’t trust him to return it (After all, he carried it out of his mother’s house and left it at yours), you decide that mailing the knife to a person you never met is a great idea. Both the sender and the recipient get a letter from the post office, with a picture of the knife. Sender gets “You moron, don’t do that again.” Recipient gets “Look what some idiot tried to send you.”

YARNLADY's avatar

Maybe you could try UPS or FedEx

bolwerk's avatar

@BarnacleBill: you are explicitly allowed to ship liquid by USPS. Just not alcohol.

@YARNLADY: I did. It worked fine. I was really just wondering what would have happened.

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