These 6 new Virginia ABC laws go into effect on July 1

Posted at 2:00 PM, Jun 28, 2024

RICHMOND, Va. -- A handful of new alcohol-related laws will go into effect on July 1 in Virginia. The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) provided the following list of new laws and a brief description of their impact:

  • Virginia ABC Considered Independent Authority (HB 30SB 30) – Notwithstanding subsection A of § 2.2-221, Code of Virginia, the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority is considered an independent agency of the Commonwealth.
  • Online and Electronic Marketing of Spirits (HB 522SB 182) – Directs Virginia ABC to promulgate regulations that prescribe the terms and conditions under which manufacturers, brokers, importers and wholesalers may advertise and promote alcoholic beverages via the Internet, social media, direct-to-consumer electronic communication, or other electronic means.
  • Cocktails To-Go Permanent, Third-Party Delivery License Ends in 2026 (HB 688SB 635) – Repeals the July 1, 2024, sunset on provisions that allow distillers that have been appointed as agents of Virginia ABC, mixed beverage restaurant licensees, and limited mixed beverage restaurant licensees to sell mixed beverages for off-premises consumption and farm winery licensees to sell pre-mixed wine for off-premises consumption.

    The bill also repeals, effective July 1, 2026, third-party delivery licenses. The bill requires the Authority to convene a work group to review third-party delivery licenses and report its findings and recommendations to the Chairmen of the House Committee on General Laws and the Senate Committee on Rehabilitation and Social Services.

  • Offering Alcoholic Beverages on Private Campground (SB 26) – Provides that the prohibition on drinking or offering to another an alcoholic beverage in public shall not apply when such acts are conducted on the premises of a campground located on private property at which a majority of the campers use travel or tent trailers, pickup campers or motor homes or similar recreational vehicles.
  • Performing Arts and Sports Facility Licenses (HB 1349SB 180SB 400SB 657) – Defines performing arts facility and sports facility and standardizes the eligibility criteria for annual mixed beverage performing arts facility licenses and on-and-off-premises wine and beer licenses for performing arts food concessionaires. The bill also removes provisions that allow Virginia ABC to grant annual mixed beverage motor sports facility licenses and motor car sporting event facility licenses and creates an annual mixed beverage sports facility license, which may be granted to persons operating a sports facility or food concessions at a sports facility and would authorize the licensee to sell mixed beverages during any event and immediately subsequent thereto to patrons within all seating areas, concourses, walkways, concession areas, and additional designated locations in closed containers for off-premises consumption or in paper, plastic, or similar disposable containers or in single original metal cans for on-premises consumption.
  • Initial Summary Suspension Investigation Start Time (SB 658) – Extends the timeline for completing initial summary suspension investigations if the deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday.

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