California state liquor law generally prohibits a retail licensee from donating alcoholic beverages.
But there are a few exceptions.
The exceptions involve donating to certain organizations holding a temporary license. Those organizations a retailer may donate alcoholic beverages to are:
1. A member-supported television station, which is also a non-profit charitable corporation, holding a temporary off-sale beer and wine license OR a non-profit charitable corporation that receives and administers donations for public television holding a temporary package off-sale beer and wine license.
In either case, the temporary license only entitles the temporary licensee to sell the donated beer and wine at auction. (Section 24045.2 Business & Professions Code)
2. A women’s educational and charitable organization, which holds a temporary off-sale beer and wine license, “that is a part of a national organization having at least 10 chapters in California at least one of which has been incorporated since 1928, whose purpose is to foster interest among its members in the social, economic and civic conditions of their community and to give effective volunteer service.”
In addition, the temporary license only entitles the women’s organization to sell the donated beer and wine at auction for charitable purposes. The law further states, “None of the funds realized from this auction shall be used for administrative expenses of the auction and all funds shall be placed in trust for a charitable purpose.” (Section 24045.3 Business & Professions Code)
3. Certain non-profit corporations who have a special temporary on-sale or off-sale wine license. The temporary licensee may only sell the donated wine to a consumer and to any person holding a license authorizing the sale of wine.
This license is good for up to 15 days. If the license is issued for a period more than two days, then it can only be used “solely for retail sales in conjunction with an identifiable fundraising event sponsored or conducted by the licensee and all bottles of wine sold under this license shall bear a label prominently identifying the event.”
The ABC may only issue three of these special licenses to any corporation in a calendar year. (Section 24045.6 Business & Professions Code)
4. A member-supported television or broadcasting station who has a temporary on-sale beer and wine license. The retail licensee may also serve that beer or wine he/she donated at any event so licensed.
The ABC may only issue one such temporary license (valid for 30 days) to the television or broadcasting station per calendar year. (Section 24045.9 Business & Professions Code)
In summary, there aren’t many situations where a retail licensee can donate alcohol. And although the laws cited above permit a retail licensee to donate alcohol to the above organizations, the laws specifically say the donation cannot be made in connection with a sale of an alcoholic beverage.
When someone applies for a liquor license and the application is protested by the community, what recourse does the applicant have while he or she waits for the ABC hearing and any appeals? After all, ABC’s investigation of a protested application and waiting for the hearing can take six months or longer. This can create financial hardships for some.
For example, I recently read an editorial at Santa Ynez Valley Times online about the Chumash Casino, owned by the Santa Ynez Band of Mission Indians. The casino has had a full liquor license since 2005 and has applied for another one for other areas of their property. The editorial writer didn’t understand why, after the tribe’s liquor license application was protested, the ABC “issued an expanded license with no public notice.”
Well, the ABC issued Interim Retail Permits.
Since 1993, the law allows ABC to issue an Interim Retail Permit to an applicant when an application has been protested and ABC has determined, based upon its investigation, that the license should be issued. An Interim Retail Permit is good for 120 days and may be extended. Unlike the permanent liquor license application, an Interim Retail Pemit does not require a public notice.
ABC cancels any Interim Retail Permit when a final decision is made regarding the protests or when the application is withdrawn. Any conditions for which the applicant has petitioned apply to any Interim Retail Permit. The protest hearing will typically be held within 60 days of the ABC investigator submitting his/her report to ABC HQ in Sacramento.
Any questions as to the status of a licensing investigation can be directed to the local ABC district office. ABC’s final decision as to whether the license should be issued may be appealed up to the State Supreme Court.
In this post, I will discuss the Type 68 Portable Bar Counter license and the Duplicate license and how they differ. Both of these licenses are “non-master” type licenses. In other words, they do not stand alone. They require a master license to operate; e.g., Type 47 or 48, On-Sale General (permitting the sale of beer, wine and spirits for on-premise consumption). Both the Type 68 Portable Bar Counter and the Duplicate license are for premises with more than one room, such as a hotel.
First, some concepts. A person licensed by the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) may not exercise his license privileges in any area not licensed. How do we know what areas are licensed? When an applicant first applies for a license, he must submit a diagram of his licensed premises. The ABC keeps the diagram on file, and the licensee cannot make any alterations or changes to the building as shown on the diagram without prior written permission from the ABC. Rule 64.2, California Code of Regulations, describes what physical changes a licensee cannot make without the ABC’s permission. It’s rather involved, so I won’t get into it here.
In any event, the ABC may license a building, buildings, portion of a building(s), or contiguous property. Contiguous property includes spaces like patios, pavilions and pool sides. In all cases, the license applicant must have sole control over the sales and service of alcoholic beverages and is responsible for any activities, legal or illegal, going on in those spaces.
What is a Duplicate license? It is a non-master license for an establishment with more than one room. It is needed by any On-Sale General licensee who regularly maintains a fixed counter or bar or service bar in a room at which patrons consume spirits. The licensee must obtain a Duplicate license for each room where these counters or bars are placed. It is not uncommon for a licensee to have several Duplicate licenses. Regularly maintains means the business uses the bar at least 26 days per calendar year.
The ABC may issue the Duplicate license as a public premises, meaning only guests age 21 and older may enter the room, or as a bona fide eating place where full meals are required and guests under age 21 are, in fact, allowed. It depends on what the licensee wants. Upon request, the ABC may also issue a Duplicate license for use by designated persons.
Duplicate licenses fees range from $292 to $697. The exact fee depends on the population of your city. The higher the population, the greater the fee. Section 24042 of the Business and Professions Code governs Duplicate licenses.
Whereas, the Duplicate license has been around since the 1950s, it wasn’t until 1988 that the ABC began issuing the Type 68, Portable Bar Counter license. This newer type of license allows for more flexibility. It is an option for a licensee who does not want a Duplicate license to cover an entire room. But rather, the licensee wants the ABC to license a portable bar counter. This portable bar counter, as the name suggests, can be moved from room to room. If the business uses two or more portable bar counters in the same room, at the same time, the ABC licenses only one of them.
Type 68 license fees run $245 to $526 per year. Like the Duplicate license, the fee is based upon population. Section 24042.5 of the Business and Professions Code governs Type 68 licenses.
In calendar year 2010, the ABC issued 72 and renewed 827 Type 68 licenses statewide. In addition, it took ABC an average of 220 days to issue a Type 68 license. This is according to the ABC’s 2010 Annual Report to the Legislature. The report does not show how many Duplicate licenses it issued or renewed or how long they took to issue.
To apply for either a Duplicate license or a Type 68 Portable Bar Counter license, contact your local ABC District Office. You must submit Form ABC-239 along with the required fee.