Tennessee ABC Now Suspending Licenses for Two Sales to Minors

By - December 27, 2013 | Alcoholic Beverage Law | Email Will Cheek

For more than a decade, the Tennessee ABC had an informal policy of issuing fines of $1,500 for sales to minors.  The policy applied to second and third sales to minors, provided the license holder was legitimately trying to enforce the rules.

No more.

Recently, the TABC has been insisting on 10 to 14 day suspensions for 2 sales to minors within a few years. Although we have been able to negotiate the timing of suspensions for operators that are willing to enforce stricter policies, the TABC has consistently required suspensions that include at least one weekend. Based on our experience, even huge fines are not an option.

For some reason, a classic Beatles’ tune comes to mind:

Happiness is a warm gun, yes it is
(bang bang shoot shoot)

We suspect that a third sale to minor will lead to a devastating suspension.

Adding salt to the wound, a new state law requires the TABC and beer boards to inform each other of sustained citations for sales to minors.  Although it seems completely unfair, a single sale to minor is likely to lead to punishments from both the TABC and the local beer board.  Many beer boards have rigorous rules about suspending or revoking beer permits for multiple sales to minors.

We encourage license holders to review policies to ensure that best practices are in place to prevent sales to minors.

Tennessee ABC Gives More Red Tape for Christmas

By - December 12, 2013 | Alcoholic Beverage Law | Email Will Cheek

Liquor license renewals with the Tennessee ABC are one of our favorite licensing fire drills. Renewals are dropped off by ABC agents at the restaurant, bar or hotel – and all too frequently do not make it to corporate for completion. Often filed at the 11th hour, renewals require tax clearance from Revenue, payment of all ABC citations, and ABC Declarations of Citizenship from corporate officers and owners of closely held companies.

The ABC recently announced that all mangers must also file Declarations of  Citizenship. The Declaration of  Citizenship is a relatively new form that most existing managers have not previously filed. Although not difficult to complete, obtaining signed notarized Declarations of  Citizenship from all managers will take some effort.

Conjures up a parody of a popular holiday song:

All I want for Christmas is some more red tape

Some more red tape, some more red tape

For licensing specialists, the new requirement is just more job security. For small business owners, it is yet another pain the rear.

Metro Nashville Beer Board Accepts On-Line Payment for Annual $100 Beer Privilege Tax

By - December 04, 2013 | Alcoholic Beverage Law | Email Will Cheek

Crank up the pacemaker. We learned today that the Metro Nashville Beer Board now accepts on-line payments for the $100 annual beer privilege tax.

Due at the end of each year, paying the $100 fee generally required a trip downtown to the Beer Board with a certified check, money order or cash.

The move to cyberspace brings to mind a cherished childhood cartoon:

Yubba dubba doo 

Flintstones, meet the Flintstones

They’re the modern stone age family

From the town of Bedrock

They’re a page right out of history

Here is a link to the payment portal. We do not know how well it works, so please e-mail us with feedback, albeit positive or negative.

Who knows what the future has in store for Nashville beer permit holders. Maybe a rewards program with Southwest frequent flyer miles?

Dance permit holders appear to be SOL. We could not find a way to pay the annual $100 dance permit fee on line.