Alabama alcohol delivery bill awaits Kay Ivey’s signature

Article by: Shauna Stuart

April 8, 2021


Alabamians are one step closer to being able to order alcohol for home delivery. Tuesday, the Alabama Senate voted 28-0 to approve an amendment previously made in the House to a Senate bill that would allow licensed businesses to deliver sealed containers of beer, wine, and spirits to patrons’ homes.

With the Senate and the House now in agreement, the amended bill was forwarded to Gov. Kay Ivey late Wednesday afternoon where it awaits her signature.

The bill would go into effect six months after it becomes a law.

In February, Sen. Jabo Waggoner (R-Vestavia Hills) introduced S.B. 126 and Rep. Gil Isbell (R-Gadsden) introduced a companion bill in the House. The Senate approved its version.

Weeks later, based on a recommendation from the Alabama Brewers Guild, the House Judiciary Committee amended S.B. 126 with language that would include breweries, distilleries, and wineries.

On April 1, Isbell, who carried the bill in the House, tabled that amendment on the House floor and introduced a new amendment that added manufacturers and brewpubs with “off-premises retail privileges.”

Under the bill, as it stands now, qualified businesses interested in alcohol delivery would have to file an application with the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board and pay a non-refundable filing fee of $100 and a $250 license fee. Businesses could use either their employees or third party contractors to deliver alcohol (If S.B. 126 is signed into law, the ABC board would have to create a new third-party delivery license for businesses). Potential qualified businesses include grocery stores, independent package stores, wineries, distilleries, breweries, and restaurants.

Applicants would be required to undergo a criminal background check. Businesses who plan to use third party services to deliver alcohol must provide the ABC Board with a sample contract outlining their agreement with a third party delivery service.

The ABC Board would also require all businesses to provide proof of general liability insurance and an outline for an employee alcohol delivery training program. The training program would cover a number of topics including how to identify underage and intoxicated individuals, as well as fake or altered forms of identification.

Delivery drivers must be at least 21-years-old, have a valid driver’s license, and pass a background check and alcohol delivery training program. Delivery drivers may not accept tips or deliver to college residence halls.

Customers ordering alcohol would have to provide a valid I.D. to delivery businesses and an adult over 21 would be required to sign for the alcohol delivery. The bill would also require businesses to have scanning technology or an ABC Board-approved alternative that would be able to verify customer identification.

S.B. 126 lists a number of provisions for alcohol deliveries. All orders must be delivered to customers within 24 hours. Customers will also have a limit on the amount of alcoholic beverages they can order in a 24-hour window:

Beer (with the exception of draft beer) may not exceed the equivalent of 120, 12-ounce containers of beer per customer.
Draft beer may be sold in accordance with ABC Board rules and may not exceed 288 ounces per customer.
Wine may be sold in any size container, provided the total amount delivered does not exceed 9,000 milliliters per customer.
Spirits may be sold in any size bottle, provided the total amount delivered does not exceed 9,000 milliliters per customer.
Restaurants, however, may not exceed 375 milliliters per customer. All alcohol deliveries from restaurants must also be accompanied by a meal.
A separate bill that would approve the shipment of wine also advanced in the legislature this week. H.B. 437, sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins ( R-Decatur), would allow wine manufacturers to apply for a wine direct shipper license from the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board to ship their products directly to Alabama residents who are at least 21-years-old. Lawmakers have passed H.B. 437 out of the House and referred it to the Senate Committee on Tourism.


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