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Arizona Off-Premises Liquor Regulation & Enforcement Lawyer

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Arizona Off-Premises Liquor Regulation & Enforcement Attorney

Businesses that sell alcohol for consumption off-premises must apply for a specific liquor license, and there are specific rules that require retail liquor compliance on the part of the business owner and employees. A Phoenix off-premises liquor regulation and enforcement lawyer can help you navigate these complex rules so you do not find yourself out of compliance with the state.

Off-premises sales of alcohol and liquor refer to alcoholic drinks that are consumed outside of the establishment that sold the spirituous liquor. In practice, this refers to the retail sale of alcohol, such as from a liquor store or grocery store.

Arizona Off-Premises Liquor Regulation & Enforcement Lawyer

Do I Need an Off-Premises Liquor License?

As with other regulated industries, a company that manufactures or sells alcohol in Arizona must comply with strict regulations and require specific licenses, which are approved at the state level. At Boesen & Snow Law, we help liquor stores and medical care providers navigate often-complicated government paperwork and regulations.

If you are preparing to open a business that sells alcohol to-go, you will need an off-premises liquor license. Examples of these types of businesses include:

  • Liquor stores
  • Grocery stores
  • Convenience stores
  • Boutique bottle shops

New changes to Arizona’s liquor laws allow on-premises license holders to sell cocktails to-go. This change in law helped restaurants stay in business during the pandemic. The primary purpose of an off-premises liquor license remains to allow liquor stores and similar businesses to sell bottles of liquor to their customers, who then consume these alcoholic drinks elsewhere.

Any store that does not have a current liquor license will face serious penalties, such as the immediate closure of the business and the imposition of fines. Under state law, it is unlawful to operate a liquor store without a license. You can ensure compliance with state and local laws by working with an off-premises liquor license lawyer. They understand the rules and regulations that govern the sale of liquor.

Who Enforces Liquor Laws in Arizona?

The Department of Liquor Licenses and Control enforces liquor laws in Arizona. They may receive complaints that a liquor law is being violated and then investigate those allegations. Any business found to be in violation of a law could face any number of enforcement actions. A very minor infraction that was unintentional, such as the placement of a sign, could be corrected on the spot. However, more serious violations could lead to the temporary or permanent revocation of a liquor license.

The City of Phoenix maintains a special phone line specifically for reporting violations of liquor laws. If you ever have concerns about your business potentially violating a state liquor law, our lawyers can provide a consultation on those areas.

Do You Need a Liquor License to Give Away Alcohol in Arizona?

If you made an alcoholic beverage, whether beer, wine, or spirits, and you wish to give your homemade alcoholic beverage to someone who is over 21, you do not need a liquor license. The state differentiates between giving homemade spirits away and “dealing” spirits. Dealing could involve:

  • Producing
  • Infusing
  • Reformulating
  • Manufacturing
  • Bottling
  • Storing
  • Serving
  • Sampling Selling

Once you or your business deals in liquor, you may have local and county permits and licenses to apply for in addition to the state-level liquor license. Even if your organization does not regularly sell alcohol, a special event that involves alcohol requires a state license for selling alcohol.

How Many Drinks Can a Customer Be Served at One Time in Arizona?

Alcohol cannot be served between the hours of 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. The maximum size that a mixed cocktail can be served is 32 ounces. There is no limit on the amount of alcohol in the container, but the additives must meet the definition of a mixed cocktail. There is no limit on the number of to-go mixed drinks that can be sold to a customer.

Any business that sells alcohol, whether for on- or off-premises consumption, must do so in a safe and responsible manner. It is illegal to sell alcohol to someone who is exhibiting signs of intoxication. Any bartender or server who does could be civilly or criminally liable if that customer is harmed or harms another after being served alcohol at your establishment.

What Is a Series 12 Liquor License in Arizona?

A Series 12 liquor license in Arizona is specifically for restaurants that plan to sell alcohol. If your restaurant has been BYOB or otherwise did not sell alcohol but wishes to, you will need to have an approved liquor license in place before you can sell alcohol. This requires specific steps on the part of the owner in conjunction with a liquor license lawyer. For example, once the application process has started, the restaurant will need to post a public notice about the application via a posted sign that the public can see.

Anyone who lives near the restaurant has 60 days to protest the sale of alcohol at the restaurant. The city can also formally protest the liquor license. Arizona’s liquor board reviews such complaints and considers them when deciding whether to approve or reject a restaurant’s liquor license application. Having an experienced off-premises liquor license lawyer can improve the chances that your application goes through with few, if any, setbacks.

Can My License Be Revoked?

Yes. At any time, your off-premises liquor license can be revoked. One reason could be for a failure to renew the license. Any liquor license must be renewed annually. There is a fee associated with this process. The renewal fee will be smaller than the initial application fee. Arizona’s alcohol-related laws are strict and not always obvious. A minor offense could be handled by paying a fee. However, a more serious offense could lead to your license being suspended for a set period of time or revoked altogether.

Schedule Your Liquor License Consultation Today

Any store that sells liquor or alcohol to-go via retail sales must have the right off-premises liquor license approved before the store can do business. Once approved, your store will have to renew the license every year. Any lapse in the license could lead to the immediate forced closing of your store, fines, and other enforcement actions.

The ideal way to ensure a smooth transition to selling alcohol to-go is by working with an experienced law firm that has helped clients successfully apply for the right liquor license. To schedule your consultation with Boesen & Snow Law, contact our office today.


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