In an effort to balance a reeling food and beverage industry with the public health crisis of COVID-19, Governor Ducey issued Executive Order 2020-09 calling for the closure of restaurants and bars, with the exception of takeout and delivery orders. In response, the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control (“DLLC”) issued a guidance.
Now that we have had slightly over a week to implement and digest these changes, the following is an update of what has and has not changed for restaurants and bars.
With the closure of all in-house dining, restaurants are now limited to takeout and delivery orders. The Executive Order allows restaurants to sell all alcohol (beer, wine, and distilled spirits) for consumption off the premises in sealed containers with the purchase of food. Curbside delivery is considered takeout, and the DLLC’s guidance encourages all restaurants to use their best judgment to sell alcohol in a method that is controlled, direct, and within a short distance.
Bars, whether beer and wine bars (Series 7) or bars that can sell all alcohol (Series 6), have long had takeout and delivery order options for alcohol. Bars are restricted to selling alcohol in unbroken or original containers. All prior delivery regulations apply to bars.
If your business has not delivered alcohol before, the regulations are found in A.R.S. § 4-203(J):
- A customer may place an order by phone or online. A licensee may make, package, and accept payment for the order at any time, but delivery cannot occur between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- A licensee must collect payment before the alcohol leaves the licensed premise.
- A licensee’s record of a delivery should contain the following:
- Proof of informing the customer that state law requires both the purchaser and the person accepting the delivery to be 21+ years of age.
- Proof of following all normal identification requirements at the time of delivery. No signature collection is required at this time because of COVID-19, but the delivery person must still check the identification, and record the name and birthdate of the person accepting the delivery.
- A licensee may use a third party delivery service, but it is ultimately responsible for compliance of all regulations.
- The person delivering alcohol must be 21 years of age or older.
- All containers containing alcohol must have a label which states “Contains alcohol, signature of person who is 21 years of age or older is required for delivery.” This remains unchanged even though the delivery person need not collect a signature.
SEALED AND UNBROKEN PACKAGES
Bars are limited to selling alcohol for off-premise consumption in unbroken packages. Title 4 has long defined a “broken package” as a package with a broken or removed tax seal, or with a broken manufacturer’s cap, cork, or seal. The Executive Order does not change this restriction. Bars cannot sell mixed drinks for takeout or delivery even at this time.
Restaurants may sell mixed drinks, or alcohol in unbroken packages, for both takeout and delivery, as long as the alcohol is in a sealed container. Sealed is not defined, but plastic lids are insufficient to seal a container. Sealed containers usually involve some sort of sturdy adhesive or flush corking.
If you would like additional information or have any questions about the Executive Order, the DLLC’s guidance, or alcohol regulation in general, please contact Camila Alarcon.
Camila Alarcon focuses her practice in administrative law and government relations. Camila is well-versed in licensing and the regulatory landscapes of the alcohol and hospitality industries. She also assists her clients in shaping legislative policy when current statutes and rules require amending.