2016 Alcohol Legislative Wrap-Up 2016 Alcohol Legislative Wrap-Up

2016 Alcohol Legislative Wrap-Up

The short session of the 119th Indiana General Assembly has adjourned sine die in the late hours of Thursday, March 10. Both chambers of the legislature successfully completed their workload on time, sending over 200 enrolled acts to the Governor's desk. When session began on Monday, January 5, 831 bills were introduced, including numerous issues of contention. Legislation amending Indiana’s alcoholic beverage laws also received some attention. For your convenience, legislative summaries of the most important alcohol legislation are provided below.

Enrolled House Act 1386 deals with various alcohol, tobacco, and e-liquid matters. It was authored by outgoing Rep. Thomas Dermody (R-LaPorte), and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette). It passed the House 63-30, passed the Senate 33-17, and has been signed by the Governor.

The act contains the following:
  • Alcoholic Beverage Sales at Hotels: It allows, if certain conditions are met, the holder of a retailer permit that is issued for the premises of a hotel that is owned by an accredited college or university to sell or dispense, for on premise consumption only, alcoholic beverages from a: (1) nonpermanent bar that is located on; or (2) service window located on the licensed premises that opens to; an outside area or terrace that is contiguous to the main building of the licensed premises of the hotel.
  • Refilling Bottles or Containers: Exempts refilling a bottle or container from the law that prohibits refiling bottles or containers by a statewide trade organization consisting of members that each hold brewer’s permits.
  • Sunday Sales at Artisan Distilleries: It allows the holder of an artisan distiller's permit to sell liquor for carryout on Sunday in a quantity at any one time of not more than 4.5 liters.
  • Trade Shows and Expositions: It allows the holder of an artisan distiller or farm winery permit, with the approval of the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC), to participate in a trade show or an exposition for not more than 45 days in a calendar year. The bill also clarifies that the holders of artisan distiller's permits, microbrewery permits, and farm winery permits may participate with one another in a trade show or exposition.
  • Enforcement of Tobacco and Cigarette Laws: It adds violations of certain tobacco and cigarette laws to the list of laws for which the ATC may investigate and enforce penalties. It allows the ATC to: (1) investigate; (2) enforce penalties; and (3) suspend or revoke tobacco sales certificates for failing to pay a civil penalty; if a certificate holder sells or distributes tobacco products or electronic cigarettes at a location determined HB 1386 1 to be a public nuisance or at which conduct or acts that are prohibited under IC 35 occur.
  • Retention of an Altered or False ID Card: The bill allows an alcoholic beverage permittee or employee of the permittee to retain a driver's license, identification card, or government issued document that is provided as proof of age for making an alcoholic beverage purchase, if the permittee has: (1) received alcohol server training; and (2) a reasonable belief that the ID card has been altered, falsified, or was not issued to the person who provided the card. It establishes requirements concerning retaining an ID card and provides that the permittee is immune from civil or criminal liability for retaining an ID card, unless the permittee obtains the ID card by using force against the person.
  • Temporary Beer Permits: It allows the ATC to issue, if certain conditions are met, a temporary beer permit for a festival or event to a person who has held a brewer's permit for a microbrewery for at least three years and meets other requirements.
  • Definition of Hotel: It amends the definition of "hotel," for purposes of the alcoholic and tobacco laws, to allow a hotel to have at least 25 separate sleeping rooms under separate roofs if certain conditions are met. (Current law defines a hotel as having at least 25 separate sleeping rooms under one continuous roof.)
  • State Park Liquor Permits: The bill provides that the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) may apply for a three-way permit for a state park. It provides that the ATC shall issue a permit to the DNR for a state park without: (1) publication of notice or investigation before a local board; and (2) regard to quota provisions.
  • Regulation of Private Clubs: It allows the holder of a club permit to designate one or more days in each calendar month as guest days, not to exceed a total of four guest days in any calendar month (instead of one day each week).
  • Sale of Carryout at Indianapolis 500 Race: The bill provides that the holder of a three-way permit that is issued to a premises located at a facility used in connection with the operation of a paved track more than two miles in length may sell sealed bottles of liquor or wine for consumption off the licensed premises: (1) from one or more locations on the premises; and (2) on the date of the Indianapolis 500 Race in the 2016 calendar year from 7 a.m., prevailing local time, to 7 p.m., prevailing local time. It requires the: (1) holder of the three-way permit to disclose to the ATC, at least 14 days before the Indianapolis 500 Race, that the holder intends to sell the bottles; and (2) bottles to be decorative bottles commemorating the one hundredth anniversary of the Indianapolis 500 Race.
  • Additional Restaurant Permits: It provides that if a permit holder: (1) holds one-way, two-way, or three-way permits that are issued, without regard for quota restrictions, for certain premises; and (2) holds a permit for a brewery that is located on or adjacent to those premises; the permit holder may sell, at those premises, beer manufactured at the brewery. It allows the ATC to issue four new three-way permits to sell alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption to applicants in Whitestown, Lebanon, Zionsville, Westfield, Carmel, and Fishers, with the total number of active permits issued not exceeding 24 permits at any time. It provides that the cost of the initial permits is $40,000.
  •  Motorsports Investment District: It adds one additional three-way permit to the number of three-way permits that the ATC may issue to the proprietor of a restaurant within or not more than 1,500 feet from a motorsports investment district.
  • Resident Ownership Requirements: The bill prohibits the ATC from issuing a beer dealer's permit to a package liquor store unless the proprietor of the package liquor store satisfies Indiana resident ownership requirements. It amends the ownership residency requirements for the issuance of an alcoholic beverage dealer's permit to a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company for the premises of a package liquor store. It also allows the ATC to renew or transfer ownership of an alcoholic beverage dealer's permit of any type for the holder of a dealer's permit who: (1) held the permit for the premises of a package liquor store before January 1, 2016; and (2) does qualify for the permit under the amended residency requirements.
  • Hotel and Restaurant Floor Plans: It allows the holder of a retailer's permit issued for the premises of a hotel or restaurant to temporarily amend floor plans to use a banquet or gathering space to sell or dispense alcoholic beverages from a temporary bar or service bar.
  • E-Liquids: The bill clarifies certain requirements regarding security firm requirements for e-liquid mixing, bottling, packaging, or selling.
  • Senate Enrolled Act 177 deals with alcohol beverage matters. It was authored by Sen. Mark Messmer (R-Jasper), and sponsored in the House by Rep. Matthew Lehman (R-Berne). It passed the Senate 43-7 and the House 92-5, and has been signed by the Governor. The act contains the following:
  • Resident Ownership Requirements: It prohibits the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission (ATC) from issuing a beer dealer's permit to a package liquor store unless the proprietor of the package liquor store satisfies Indiana resident ownership requirements. It amends the ownership residency requirements for the issuance of an alcoholic beverage dealer's permit to a corporation, limited partnership, or limited liability company for the premises of a package liquor store. It allows the ATC to renew or transfer ownership of an alcoholic beverage dealer's permit of any type for the holder of a dealer's permit who: (1) held the permit for the premises of a package liquor store before January 1, 2016; and (2) does qualify for the permit under the amended residency requirements.
  • Refilling Bottles or Containers: It allows the refilling of a bottle or container with hard cider in an establishment that manufactures hard cider. It also allows the refilling of a bottle or container with a product from a farm winery.
  • Hotel and Restaurant Floor Plans: It allows the holder of a retailer's permit issued for the premises of a hotel or restaurant to temporarily amend floor plans to use a banquet or gathering space to sell or dispense alcoholic beverages from a temporary bar or service bar.
  • Alcoholic Beverage Sales at Hotels: It allows, if certain conditions are met, the holder of a retailer's permit that is issued for the premises of a hotel that is owned by an accredited college or university to sell or dispense, for on premises consumption only, alcoholic beverages from a:(1) nonpermanent bar that is located; or (2) service window located on the licensed premises that opens to; an outside area or terrace that is contiguous to the main building of the licensed premises of the hotel.
  • Service Windows on Restaurant Premises: The bill provides that a holder of a retailer's permit that is issued to a restaurant may sell or dispense alcoholic beverages from a service window that opens to an outside patio or terrace.

If you have any questions about Indiana alcoholic beverage legislation, regulation, or enforcement matters and how they can impact your business, please contact one our professionals: Angela P. Krahulik or Mark I. Shublak.

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader should consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader’s specific circumstances. 

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