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Thursday, June 17, 2021

Liquor Laws to Know for Phase 5 and Beyond

With the State moving to Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois plan last week, municipalities should be aware of various changes affecting liquor sales and delivery.

State Guidance on Temporary Delivery and Off-Premises Sales Ends July 1, 2021

The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) recently announced that many of its COVID-19 bulletins would be lifted July 1, 2021, including its “Guidance on Temporary Delivery of Alcoholic Liquor” and  “Guidance to Local Liquor Control Commissions for On-Premises Only Retailers.” The ILCC guidance allowed all licensed retailers, including on-premises only licensees, to make “to go” sales, curbside deliveries, and home residential deliveries, subject to conditions and local liquor commissioner approval. However, as of July 1, 2021 on-premises only licensed retailers may not sell alcoholic liquor for delivery. Only retail license holders with combined on/off premises consumption and off-premises with consumption only licenses may sell alcoholic liquor for delivery, subject to local ordinances.

ILCC’s COVID-19 Compliance FAQ for Phase 5 is available on its website.

New Liquor Delivery Law Effective January 1, 2022

Governor Pritzker also recently signed legislation preempting home rule and non-home rule units (except for Chicago) and allowing certain state-authorized liquor deliveries effective January 1, 2022. “Delivery” means the movement of alcoholic liquor purchased from a licensed retailer to a consumer through:

1.  delivery within the licensed retailer’s parking lot, including curbside, for pickup by the consumer;

2.  delivery by an owner, officer, director, shareholder, or employee of the licensed retailer; or

3.  delivery by a third-party contractor, independent contractor, or agent with whom the licensed retailer has contracted to make deliveries of alcoholic liquors.

Deliveries must be made within 12 hours from the time the alcoholic liquor leaves the retailer’s licensed premises, and “delivery” does not include use of common carriers. Where the new law preempts the local power to determine the kind and classification of liquor licenses, “on-premises only” licensees and other licensed retailers could potentially make the liquor deliveries authorized by the new law. Further ILCC guidance may be forthcoming, but municipalities may wish to review their liquor regulations to prepare for these changes in the coming months.

State Issues New Guidance on Cocktails and Wine To-Go

After Governor Pritzker recently extended “to-go” sales of cocktails and single-servings of wine through January 3, 2024, the ILCC issued new guidance this week. The guidance only allows the authorized to-go sales by retailers with a combined license for on-premises/off-premises sales. The guidance also includes packaging and labeling requirements, and service requirements for employees. The to-go cocktail or single-serving wine may be delivered to the consumer over-the-counter inside the business, by curbside delivery by a retailer employee, or by home delivery by a retailer employee. Deliveries through a drive-through or by third party delivery companies are prohibited.

Local municipalities may prohibit or further restrict the sales and delivery of to-go cocktails and single servings of wine. Additionally, the guidance notes that off-premises and combined on-premises/off-premises licensees may deliver liquor in the original packaging subject to applicable local law or ordinance.

Post Authored by Dan Bolin & Adam Simon, Ancel Glink


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