An Eating Place Beer License (EB License) is a mandatory requirement for any eating place looking to legally sell beer. “Eating Places” are establishments that serve food for on-site consumption. EB licenses are valid only for the sale of beer; they do not permit the sale of wine and other liquors. EB licenses require establishments that serve beer to prepare and serve food on their premises. With an EB license, an establishment can also sell beer to patrons for off-site consumption. Getting a license to serve alcohol can be a lengthy and complex process, and the consequences for violating liquor laws can be serious. Fortunately, EB liquor license lawyers can help you understand your rights and responsibilities for serving alcohol.
Liquor laws are created at the state, county, and municipal levels. Before moving forward with a liquor license application, eating places should contact their state Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) agency. These agencies help local businesses understand certain conditions within the state, and within specific towns and counties. Information that the ABC can provide includes: what types of liquor an establishment can sell, what hours the liquor can be sold, qualifications that an establishment must meet to obtain the liquor license, the cost of the license, and any other limitations. Applicants should note that some states have liquor license quotas, which means that they only sell a certain number of licenses based on population. Therefore, it is a good idea to check with the state before submitting an application to make sure that it has not already reached its quota, especially for those planning to purchase or rent building space. The liquor application process can take quite a bit of time – up to a year in some cases – so it is best to start as soon as possible. Regardless of whether establishments plan to serve wine, beer, liquor or a combination of the above, they cannot sell any type of alcohol without first getting a license.
States set their own qualifications for obtaining an EB license, but they similar basic requirements. Nationwide, applicants must be at least 21 years old. Some states have residency requirements, meaning that the applicant must live in a place for at least three months before applying for a license. Applicants with a criminal record should be aware that having a criminal history can greatly reduce their likelihood of getting a license. In most places, applicants need to get a seller’s permit from the State Department of Revenue before getting a liquor license. Staff may need to undergo training to legally serve alcohol.
Establishments have several options for liquor licenses. In general, it is easier and less expensive to get a beer or wine license than a license for hard liquor. Facilities with 100 seats or less sometimes get a limited liquor license, which permits the sale of wine and beer only. These licenses are more restrictive than standard restaurant liquor licenses, but they are also less expensive.
For eating places, getting a liquor license is exciting, as it brings the prospect of new business growth and an increased patron base. However, getting that license also imposes responsibilities. It is never a bad idea to consult EB liquor license lawyers before starting to serve alcohol, as they can help staff and owners understand their duties for distributing alcohol, and the potential consequences that can arise from violating those laws.
As with liquor laws themselves, the remedies for liquor law violations vary among states. Violations can affect the possession, sale, and serving of alcoholic beverages. They can affect all parties involved in alcohol distribution and consumption, including retailers, consumers, and businesses. Examples of common liquor law violations include: selling alcohol to minors (those under age 21), selling alcohol without a license, assaulting a person while intoxicated, overserving patrons, drinking and driving, public intoxication, and driving with open alcohol containers in the car.
The legal consequences for those violations can be catastrophic to the affected parties. They can range from simple citations to misdemeanors, which can lead to prison time. For businesses, violating liquor laws can lead to accountability for damages, loss of liquor license, and even loss of business license. EB liquor license lawyers can help advise establishments and patrons who have been charged with liquor law violations.