Recent Changes to NY Alcohol Beverage Laws

The governor of New York signed two bills that amend the current Alcohol Beverage Control law.

The first new law involves has more impact on a licensee like Scores versus a cocktail bar like PDT. It adds a new requirement for applicants, both new and renewal, requiring a statement indicating the type of establishment being operated at the location.

The statement must indicate whether there will be any “topless entertainment and/or exotic dancing whether topless or otherwise, including, but not limited to, pole dancing and lap dancing, at the establishment.” The State Liquor Authority cannot waive this new requirement; all new applications and all renewal applications must include this information. This takes effect on September 29, 2013 and applications received prior may use either the old or new forms.

The second new law is effective immediately and adds the word “intentionally” to the law regarding contaminated bottles. It is a slight change intended to, according to the SLA website announcement, “prevent the Authority from prosecuting licensees for bottles contaminated with fruit flies (and similar substances) when there is no evidence that the licensee intentionally contaminated the bottles.” Non-intentional contaminations are likely to be followed-up with health code violations.

The new law reads as follows:

“No retail licensee for on-premises consumption… shall keep upon the licensed premises any liquors and/or wines in any cask, barrel, keg, hogshead or other container, except in the original sealed package as received from the manufacturer or wholesaler. Such containers shall have affixed thereto such labels as may be required by the rules of the liquor authority, together with all necessary federal revenue and New York state excise stamps as required by law. No retail licensee for on-premises consumption shall reuse, refill, tamper with, intentionally adulterate, dilute or fortify the contents of any container of alcoholic beverages as received from the manufacturer or wholesaler.”


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