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Straight Talk on Alcohol Transportation for Damp and Dry Communities

Note: This is a summary and not a full explanation of Alaska Law. Please do further research on your own if you have any doubts or questions about Alcohol Transportation or Possession in or to a Damp Community.

Shipping of Alcohol.

NOTE: All Shipped Alcohol must go through the City-Owned Liquor Store and Distribution Center.
This includes Shipping Yourself (to yourself), Shipping by Wine Clubs and Shipping from Liquor Stores outside Kotzebue.
NO individual can ship alcohol to anyone except him/herself.
You MUST have a Kotzebue Liquor Permit BEFORE shipping.
See the Liquor Store,
or go to City Hall for Permit information.

Kotzebue, Alaska, is a “damp” community. This means you can bring in to Kotzebue alcoholic beverages for consumption if it is properly labeled and within your monthly limits. It is a Felony offense to manufacture, sell, possess for sale, or barter alcoholic beverages. Title 4 of the Alaska Statutes describe in detail requirements regarding alcoholic beverages. For quick reference:

One person can bring/ship the following maximum amount per month to a “damp” community.
This is also the maximum amount one person can possess in a “damp” community:

4.5* liters of Distilled Spirits; and

24 liters of wine; and

12 gallons of malt beverages

*As of May 1, 2005 (ref. SB 210)

Shipping more than these amounts is a FELONY offense.

No one can bring/ship alcoholic beverages to a “dry” village.
The following Villages are DRY in the Northwest Arctic Borough:
Amber, Buckland, Candle, Deering, Kiana, Kivalina, Kobuk, Noorvik, Noatak, Shungnak, Selawik and Point Hope

If the following amounts (or more) are taken/attempted to be taken to a “dry” village the offense is a felony offense. Amounts under the following are misdemeanor offenses as described in detail in AS 04.16.200.

Felony Alcohol Quantities:
10.5 liters of Distilled Spirits; or
24 liters of wine; or
12 gallons of malt beverage

Alaska State Law requires that if you are transporting alcoholic beverages by common carrier (such as in your carry-on baggage, checked baggage, or shipped package) to a “damp” community, you must clearly LABEL in plain view the shipping container as:


In at least 2" (inch) high letters in contrasting colors and attached clearly and in plain view an itemized receipt or list noting the TYPE, QUANTITY and VALUE of the alcohol inside. This labeling law requirement applies if you are transporting MORE THAN:

1 liter of distilled spirits; or

2 liters of wine; or

1 gallon of malt beverages

NOTE: Telling airline personnel that you are carrying alcohol in your baggage or boxes is NOT considered a defense. Violation of the labeling law is a class A misdemeanor CRIME punishable with a $10,000 fine and / or up to 1 year in jail (AS 04.16.125)

Providing Alcohol to a minor in a local option community, in any quantity -is a FELONY offense.

It is contrary to Federal Law to mail any alcohol through the US Postal Service.

More information:

National TSA rules on transporting Alcohol (NOT the amounts for a DAMP community - see above)

Carrying Alcohol In Your Checked Baggage

Please note, you can’t take alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol content (140 proof), including 95% grain alcohol and 150 proof rum, in your checked luggage.

You may take up to five liters of alcohol with alcohol content between 24% and 70% per person as checked luggage if it’s packaged in a sealable bottle or flask.

Alcoholic beverages with less than 24% alcohol content are not subject to hazardous materials regulations.
(From the above TSA site 3/09)

Commerce Department
Local option laws Q&A


"Wet" = A community where alcohol is sold in stores and available in bars
"Damp" = A community where alcohol isn't sold or available locally, but individuals can import through licensed vendors or transport certain quantity on their own.
"Dry" - A community where alcohol importation, possession, manufacture and sale is prohibited.

"Distilled Spirits" - Vodka, Gin, Whisky et. al. and flavored Liquors.
"Wine" - Grape based wine or honey based mead are in this category.
"Malt Beverage" - Beer, Wine coolers, Zima - marked Malt Beverage on package


Alcohol comes packaged in many sizes. Typical are:

12oz bottles or cans, packed in "12 Packs" or "Cases" of 24.
Beer and wine coolers (Malt based) are usually in cans or bottles of this size.
1 12-Pack = 1.125 Gallons; 10 12-Packs = 11.25 gallons (for maximum Malt Beverage calculation)
Beer also comed in 16oz, 20oz, 40oz, and Gallons and kegs.

750ml or 3/4 Liter, often referred to as a "Fifth".

1 Liter

1.5 Liter - Wine is usually 750 or 1.5 liter
32 750ml bottles = 24 Liters (for maximum Wine calculation)

1.75 Liter or "Half Gallon"
6 x 1.75liters = 10.5 liters (for maximum Distilled Spirits calculation)
16 x 750ml = 12 Liters (for maximum Distilled Spirits calculation)

Posted February, 2005; Updated July, 2006; November, 2007, March, 2009, September, 2010, March, 2011

To Kotzebue Police Department