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A – DS Liquor License Lawyers

An A/DS license is issued to grocery and drugstores only. This allows for the sale of beer to consumers that they will drink off the stores premises. You have several rules to follow that will prevent you from being fined or worse, the A/DS license being revoked. There are several rules for getting the license.

Minimum Requirements for A/DS License

Your grocery or drugstore must be managed by a person or officers and directors that are at least 21 years of age, a US citizen, permanent resident alien, or a citizen of another country we allow to obtain a visa for trade. That person or persons cannot have a felony conviction or be a police officer. They also cannot have had their liquor, beer, or wine license revoked within 2 years of applying for a new license. You will also need to abide by your county or cities rules about the hours and days beer can be purchased. Your license will cost $330 and is good for 3 years.

Your inventory has to be food items that account for at least 50% of all items and the wholesale value has to also be at least 50%. Beer inventory cannot exceed 25% of all inventory. The alcohol volume must be under 6.0%. The store must also be outside of the 200 ft. radius of any schools or religious institutions.

Maintaining Your License

Your first question may be about the age requirement of your cashiers that customers are purchasing beer from. The person should be 18, but, persons under that age can sell beer if they are being supervised by a person who is at least 18 years old.
Make sure your employees are aware of the types of ID allowed. A drivers license or state ID from any state, a passport from any country, or a military ID are acceptable proof of age and can be used to buy beer.

Beer has to be packaged to go and no open containers are allowed in the store, even if the person has purchased the beer. You cannot sell or buy beer to or from another retailer because purchases are only allowed from a licensed beer wholesaler. This also means you cannot sell it so another can resell it. You cannot sell liquor or wine in your grocery store. Customers must pay for the beer with cash, credit, or debit. It is illegal to allow beer to be sold on in-store credit.

Besides following your county or city laws about days and hours beer can be purchased you must follow the rules set forth by your state. In New York state the only rule is that it cannot be sold between the hours of 3 a.m. to noon on Sundays.

When you follow the guidelines, you should not have to worry about losing your license or being fined.   You should know you are responsible for the actions of your employees when it comes to selling beer.   As the managing member or board of directors you are 100% at fault if your employees fail to follow the rules of the state.

Best Practices for Keeping Your A/DS License in Good Standing

The best way to prevent this from happening is to have a training program in place that covers who can buy beer, the ID they need, the form of payment, and the hours it can be sold. You will need to verify the training was received. You can do this by having the employee sign a document that says they received the training and the date they received it. It would be a good idea to revisit the rules with employees annually at least. They should also understand what disciplinary action will take place if they do not follow the rules.

The training and verification is important because it may help you in the event you received an FDA charging letter. Should you receive one you only have 10 days to respond. It is advisable to seek professional help because you could lose 25% of your stores revenue.

by Leonard on Spodek Law Group
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