RICHMOND, Va. – Hundreds of new laws were passed by the 2017 Session Virginia General Assembly that are likely to affect the daily lives of many Virginia citizens.
Among the many new laws are several that affect Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control regulations. Soon you’ll be able to buy wine and beer at one of Virginia’s many historic cinema’s, or purchase 151-proof alcohol like Everclear from an ABC store.
These new laws go into effect on Saturday, July 1.
Here’s a selection of some of the new ABC laws that stand out:
HB 1743. Alcoholic beverage control; retail on-premises license for nonprofit historic cinema houses.
This law will allow customers to purchase wine and beer at any of the Commonwealth’s non-profit “historic cinema houses” built before 1970.
HB 1744/SB 1469. Alcoholic beverage control; disposable containers. This law allows for single aluminum cans to be sold by beer licensees, wine and beer licensees, and certain mixed beverage licensees.
HB 1842. Alcoholic beverage control; neutral grain spirits or alcohol sold at government stores; proof. This law increases from 101 to 151 the proof of neutral grain spirits or alcohol that is without distinctive character, aroma, taste, or color that may be sold at ABC stores. This means liquor like 151-proof Everclear can now be sold at Virginia ABC stores. The law has an expiration date of July 1, 2022.
HB 2029/SB 1448. Alcoholic beverage control; privileges of licensed distillers appointed as agents of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. This law allows licensed Virginia distillers to sell their spirits at ABC licensed events where they are featuring and educating the public about their product.
SB 1216. Alcoholic beverage control; availability of food when spirits served. This law says food must be available on the premises where the alcohol is being served until at least 30 minutes before the establishment closes. The food has to be cooked or prepared on the premises and has to be available in all parts of the premises where alcohol is being served.
HB 2433. Alcoholic beverage control; cider shall be treated as wine for all purposes of ABC law. This law says cider should be treated as wine for all purposes of ABC law, including its sale in ABC retail stores.
HB 2418. Alcoholic beverage control; banquet licenses for wineries and breweries. This law increases from four to eight the number of banquet licenses a brewery or winery may obtain for special events in any one-year period.
HB 1801. Alcoholic beverage control (ABC); delivery privileges of persons holding a wine and beer license. This law says people with a wine or beer license can deliver the wine or beer to people on the premises; to their vehicles if they ordered online in advance and are parked in a designated area on the premises; to other permitted locations if they hold a delivery permit
HB 1694. Alcoholic beverage control; nonprofit banquet licensees; sale of wine for off-premises consumption. This law authorizes banquet licensees that are nonprofit corporations or associations conducting fundraisers to sell wine, in closed containers, as part of any fundraising activity, to persons to whom wine may be lawfully sold for off-premises consumption.
HB 1987. Alcoholic beverage control; new license for certain commercial lifestyle centers. This law allows for permits to be granted allowing the consumption of alcohol at commercial lifestyle centers. Commercial lifestyle centers are defined as a facility with at least 100,000 square feet of space containing national specialty chain stores and a combination of dining, entertainment, office, residential, or hotel establishments in a pedestrian friendly, outdoor setting.
SB 1150. Alcoholic beverage control; bar bystander training. This law says training will be provided for bartenders or anyone who sells, serves or dispenses alcoholic beverages that includes information on how to recognize situations that may lead to sexual assault, as well as intervention strategies.