Senator Scott Weiner wants changes to the alcohol licensing. At least that’s what Senate Bill 314 was about. The bill affects the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in giving out licenses. If successful, it will reduce the number of months businesses have to wait. The bill aims to shorten it to less than half a year.
It also allows consumers to purchase beer. It enables licensees to sell alcohol. Transactions can continue provided that the place of consumption is a licensed area. Common licensed areas mean businesses have the right to share a space for customers.
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The bill allows licenses for liquor consumed in gatherings, with musical events. (i.e. live bands or for-cause performances). People below legal age are part of the consumer community so the new bill also gives them freedom. Minors may now enter bars outside the timeframe when liquor is available.
In an effort to control the spread of the virus, cities may assign zones to hold events. These areas are where alcohol consumption is also allowed.
This change will help businesses recover. The DABC suspends establishments in violation of its policies. If the bill passes, restaurants can expect to operate without fear of suspension.
A section of the bill allows restaurants and food establishments to thrive financially. Right now, the pandemic limits people gathering in enclosed spaces. The solution is to allow parking lots and outdoors as parts of a restaurant’s operation.
As for the urgency of the bill, it has a clause stating that this should take effect as soon as possible. The act helps businesses recover from loss due to the pandemic. The bill acts in priority of maintaining public health and safety.
Here’s a summary of Bill 314
- Establishments are only allowed to sell liquor if they have a license from ABC
- Businesses can share spaces (provided they’re not the same branch office)
- Outdoor dining is permissible
- Cities can hold mass gatherings, as long they’re licensed to do so
- It allows an increase in the number of attendees for authorized events.
Amendments to this bill are in review and have undergone a hearing in April of this year.