If you hate running errands, like shopping at Walmart, and are thinking of a way to liven it up, you might want to follow one creator’s lead and turn it into a girl’s wine night to kill two birds with one stone.
TikTok creator @vonnasosolid1’s recently uploaded footage of the idea in a viral clip that’s accrued over 210,000 views. But the question remains: are folks allowed to crack open a bottle of wine before they paid for it, inside of a store, and enjoy it from the comfort of their shopping cart?
@vonnasosolid1 A time was had in Walmart. Yes, we opened wine & shopped while sipping. & yes we paid for it at checkout lol. #FYP #ForYouPage #Trend ♬ Touch My Body – Mariah Carey
In a caption for the post, the TikToker writes: “A time was had in Walmart. Yes, we opened wine & shopped while sipping. & yes we paid for it at checkout lol.”
The video shows a woman pouring an open bottle of Barefoot wine into a red cup as her friends enjoy sipping on the beverage while shopping.
The Daily Dot has reached out Walmart via email for further information on their in-store policies and reached out to @vonnasosolid1 via TikTok comment.
Unless you’re shopping in Alaska, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, or Utah, you can purchase liquor at any Walmart location. The aforementioned states have special rules for the sales of booze.
When it comes to whether or not the TikToker was breaking any rules by opening a bottle of wine and enjoying it with her friends, there are two primary questions that need to be addressed.
The first is whether or not it’s illegal, or against store policy, to start eating food or drinking beverages in a grocery store before you actually pay for them and according to various resources online, it seems that the consensus is that it isn’t illegal unless the store has an explicit policy stating otherwise. However, there are some caveats to follow: stores generally won’t have an issue with you cracking open a bottle of soda and taking a swig while you’re waiting for your turn at the register, just as long as you pay for it when you get there. Find Law writes: “You’re legally obligated to pay for however much you took from the store. So if you don’t pay for what you’ve already eaten, then technically you’ve stolen it.”
The resource also went on to state that not all items are the same, however, as it continued to state: “Something sold at a fixed price, like a bag of chips, may be more acceptable. So a customer who snacks while shopping, but eventually pays for it at the checkout, likely won’t have to deal with any legal consequences.”
However, measurable food, like produce, could be a bit trickier, because it’s hard to gauge just how much you ate before arriving at checkout: “However, items that are priced by weight — like produce, candies, and dried goods, for example — may pose more of a concern,” Find Law reports. “You’re legally obligated to pay for however much you took from the store. So if you don’t pay for what you’ve already eaten, then technically you’ve stolen it.”
@vonnasosolid1’s situation is a bit different, however, because it’s not like she’s tearing open a bag of Sour Patch Kids. And while she did ultimately pay for the bottle at checkout and it didn’t seem like anyone in the store hassled her and her friends, the question still stands if folks allowed to drink booze in the store before they purchase it at checkout.
The Beer Exchange writes that drinking in Walmart is expressly prohibited, however: “No, you can not drink alcohol in Walmart openly. It is illegal to drink any alcoholic drink within the boundaries of Walmart or its grocery area.”
Knocking back a cold one in the parking lot is fine, pretty much anywhere outside the doors of the store after you’ve bought your alcohol is okay, just not indoors, according to the aforementioned outlet.
*First Published: Aug 30, 2023, 12:56 am CDT
Jack Alban is a freelance journalist for the Daily Dot covering trending human interest/social media stories and the reactions real people have to them. He always seeks to incorporate evidence-based studies, current events, and facts pertinent to these stories to create your not-so-average viral post.