RECENT RULINGS OF THE NEW YORK STATE LIQUOR AUTHORITY

What happens if I don’t pay my Liquor Authority fine on time?

In a disciplinary matter, if a fine is not timely paid, the Authority will impose an “alternate penalty.” If the license has been surrendered or expired, the penalty will be the bond claim and cancellation of the license. The same will apply if the license is in safekeeping.  

If the license a wholesale license, fines under $4,999 will result in a $1,000 bond claim (in addition to any applicable suspension period) but for dines over $5,000, the full value of the bond will be forfeited.

Advisory 2019-2 sets forth the suspension periods that will apply to licensees who fail to pay on time. The suspension period for fines from $1,001-$5,000 range from one week to 7 weeks. For fines over $5,001, the license will be cancelled or revoked. 

Determining premises capacity and the number of bars that can be allowed at one business location

Determining the capacity of a premise is based on the certificate of occupancy, even if the licensee stipulates to a lower capacity due to concerns raised by the local municipality. This can be important when the Authority considers how many bars to permit in the premises. Declaratory Ruling 2018-2478 considered a 6-floor premise in NYC and permitted 5 bars for a premise that could legally hold 1500 people but the licensee stipulated to a maximum capacity of 1000 due to concerns of the Community Board. (Notably, the ruling states it is not precedential)

Wine carafes only exception to regulation requiring alcohol to be served from its original container

Alcoholic beverages must be kept in their original containers. Refilling and pre-mixing are not permitted in NY. The only exception is the use a carafe for the service of wine. Wine may be transferred to a carafe for service to a customer. 

Farm distillery can use out of state bottler for its New York labelled spirits

If distilled spirits are made from NY grains or fruit by a New York farm distillery, they can be labelled as New York labelled products even if the bulk alcohol was transferred out of state to a company for bottling and labelling.

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