The Washington-based Institute for Justice, a non-for-profit law firm, has mounted a legal challenge to the law in Arizona which prohibits direct interstate shipments of wine.

The Institute for Justice is suing the state of Arizona in the US District Court on behalf of a wine producer in Leesburg, Virginia. "Our founders intended for America to be one big free trade zone," said the Institute's attorney, Clint Bollick. "The conflicting maze of state regulations that limit free commerce in wine creates precisely the balkanized market the US Constitution was written to prevent."

Arizona's Wholesale Beer and Liquor Association said the state laws regarding liquor sales allow for the collection of state taxes and helped to enforce the legal drinking age. It said taxes on wine purchases made by Arizona consumers would be almost impossible to collect.

As the current law stands, wine consumers in Arizona can buy wine via the internet, mail order or telesales but the wine must be shipped to an in-state distributor before it can be sent to the customer. Arizona is not the only state in the US to have such laws and is also not the only state to have been legally challenged over its legislation.