2023 alcohol legislation includes liquor liability reform, curbside expansion, lower minimum age for hotel servers and food truck alcohol sales

Food truck alcohol sales gained final approval on the last day of the 2023 regular session. Several alcohol-related bills, including liquor liability reform, become law in 2023.

Liquor liability reform

18- to 20-year-old servers in hotels

Amounts of alcohol that can be sold curbside expands Aug. 1 

As of Sept. 1, food & beverage trucks
can sell alcohol in entertainment districts

Helena, Columbiana & Calera can create entertainment districts
In the 2023 regular session, three new cities gained approval to establish entertainment districts:

  • Act No. 2023-285 would allow the Helena City Council to establish up to two entertainment districts.
  • Act No. 2023-66 would allow the Columbiana City Council to establish up to two entertainment districts.
  • Act No. 2023-72 would allow the Calera City Council to establish entertainment districts in that city.

Alcohol sales in unincorporated Autauga County possible by July 1
As of July 1, the Autauga County Commission can authorize the sale of alcoholic beverages in the unincorporated areas of the county under Act No. 2023-71 by Rep. Jerry Starnes, R-Prattville.

Background checks of ABC licensees exclusive to FBI starting Aug. 1
Starting Aug. 1, the State Bureau of Investigations is the sole entity that can run criminal background checks on Alcoholic Beverage Control Board license applicants.

Rep. Allen Treadaway, R-Morris, the sponsor of Act No. 2023-312, said current law allows applicants to submit fingerprints to a contracted entity as well, but Alabama “doesn’t contract with anyone.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation required that the “contracted entity” language be deleted this year from state code for the federal agency to continue conducting background checks, Treadway said.


Expanded distribution of cocktails-in-a-can

Bills to regulate beer transfers among brewpubs with the same owners, delete defunct definition of ‘premises’ never received consideration
The House Economic Development and Tourism Committee never considered bills to:

  • allow brewpubs to transfer beer to another brewpub with the same ownership. Brewpubs by definition produce less than 10,000 barrels of beer annually. HB484 would have required the beer to be transferred to “accurately calibrated,” “tax-determined beer tanks” prior to sale for the purpose of determining the tax due on beer sales.
  • remove the definition of “premises” that restricts brewpubs to historic buildings, registered historic districts, or economically distressed areas in order to conform to
    existing law. The original Alabama Brewpub Act confined brewpubs to historic buildings or distressed areas. That requirement was removed in 2016, but the definition of premises remained the law. HB495 would have deleted the prior premises definition.

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