It’s only been a few hours since the Governor and the Secretary of Health announced that the state is imposing a limitation on the sale of alcohol on Wednesday, November 25, 2020. What does this mean and who does it apply to?
On-Site Alcohol Consumption Must End at 5:00 pm
The Order provides that all sales or service of alcohol for on-site consumption must cease no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 25th. It goes on to provide that no customer may possess alcoholic beverages within the business after 6:00 p.m. This includes:
- private clubs, and
- catered events
The order is pretty clear: service of alcohol by all licensees for on-site consumption has to end at 5:00 p.m. on November 25th.
Even though only certain types of establishments were specifically named, it seems clear the state intended to apply this regulation to all alcohol sales by any type of licensee. This has been how the Governor has applied all of his previous orders, and there is no reason to believe any class of licenses is excepted from this Order. Proprietors can give customers an hour to finish their drinks, but the latter may no longer possess alcohol on any licensed premises after 6:00 p.m.
Off-Site / To-Go Consumption May Continue After 5:00 pm
This limitation does NOT restrict the sales of alcohol to go by licensees after 5:00 p.m. provided they are sold for off-premises consumption. You may continue to sell individual drinks or, where permitted, in bottles, growlers, crowlers, etc. However, the customer must leave your premises with the drink and may not consume it on any licensed or unlicensed areas on your property.
For restaurant and hotel licensees, please remember that sales of mixed drinks to go must always end by 11:00 p.m. That restriction was part of the law that permitted mixed drinks to be sold to go and has not changed.
Please also remember that the law requires you to have and use a transaction scan device to confirm the age of customers buying mixed drinks to go. This requirement went into effect 60 days after the law passed. Click on the article, Mixed Drinks to Go?, if you want to review more information on mixed drinks to go for restaurant and hotel licensees. In case you missed it, we also released information about renewing your liquor license in the pandemic.
As always, if you have any questions relating to this or any other guidance issued, contact the attorneys at Russell Krafft & Gruber.