Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to subnav
Searching 2017-2018 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

Title 7: Alcoholic Beverages

Chapter 001: GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • § 1. Construction

    This title is based on the taxing power and the police power of the State, and is for the protection of the public welfare, good order, health, peace, safety, and morals of the people of the State. The provisions of this title shall be liberally construed to accomplish its purposes. (Amended 2017, No. 83, § 1.)

  • § 2. Definitions

    As used in this title:

    (1) "Alcohol" means the product of distillation, fermentation, or chemical synthesis, including alcoholic beverages, ethyl alcohol, and nonpotable alcohol.

    (2) "Alcoholic beverages" means malt beverages, vinous beverages, spirits, and fortified wines.

    (3) "Boat" means a vessel suitably equipped and operated for the transportation of passengers in interstate commerce.

    (4) "Caterer's license" means a license issued by the Liquor Control Board authorizing the holder of a first-class license or first- and third-class licenses to serve alcoholic beverages at a function located on premises other than those occupied by a first-, first- and third-, or second-class licensee to sell alcoholic beverages.

    (5) "Certificate of approval" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board to a manufacturer or distributor of malt beverages or vinous beverages, or both, that is not licensed under the provisions of this title, that permits the licensee to sell those beverages to holders of a packager's or wholesale dealer's license.

    (6) "Club" means an unincorporated association or a corporation authorized to do business in this State, that has been in existence for at least two consecutive years prior to the date of application for a license under this title and owns, hires, or leases a building or space in a building that is suitable and adequate for the reasonable and comfortable use and accommodation of its members and their guests and contains suitable and adequate kitchen and dining room space and equipment implements and facilities. A bona fide unincorporated association or corporation whose officers and members consist solely of veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or a subordinate lodge or local chapter of any national fraternal order, and which fulfills all requirements of section 229 of this title, except that it has not been in existence for at least two years, shall come within the terms of this definition six months after the completion of its organization.

    (7) "Commercial catering license" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting a business licensed by the Department of Health as a commercial caterer and having a commercial kitchen facility in the home or place of business to sell alcoholic beverages at a function previously approved by the local control commissioners.

    (8) "Commissioner of Liquor Control" means the executive officer of the Liquor Control Board appointed under the provisions of chapter 5 of this title.

    (9) "Control commissioners" means the commissioners of a municipality appointed under section 166 of this title.

    (10) "Destination resort master license" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board pursuant to section 242 of this title permitting a destination resort to designate licensed caterers and commercial caterers that will be permitted to cater individual events within the boundaries of the resort without being required to obtain a request to cater permit for each individual event. For purposes of a destination resort master license, a "destination resort" is a resort that contains at least 100 acres of land, offers at least 50 units of sleeping accommodations, offers meal and beverage service to the public for consideration, and has related sports and recreational facilities for the convenience or enjoyment of its guests. "Destination resort" does not include the University of Vermont, the Vermont State Colleges, or any other university, college, or postsecondary school.

    (11) "Dining car" means a railroad car on which meals are prepared and served.

    (12) "Festival permit" means a permit granted by the Department of Liquor Control permitting a person to conduct an event at which malt or vinous beverages, or both, are sold by the glass to the public, provided the event is approved by the local control commissioners.

    (13) "First-class license" means a license permitting the licensee to sell malt or vinous beverages to the public for consumption only on the premises for which the license is granted.

    (14) "Fortified wine permit" means a permit granted to a second-class licensee that permits the licensee to export and sell fortified wines to the public for consumption off the licensed premises.

    (15) "Fortified wines" mean vinous beverages, including those to which spirits have been added during manufacture, containing at least 16 percent alcohol but no more than 23 percent alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and all vermouths containing no more than 23 percent alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (16) "Fourth-class license" means a license permitting a licensed manufacturer or rectifier to sell by the unopened container and distribute by the glass, with or without charge, beverages manufactured by the licensee.

    (17) "Home-fermented beverages" means malt or vinous beverages produced at home and not for sale.

    (18) "Hotel" has the same meaning as in 32 V.S.A. § 9202(3) and as determined by the Liquor Control Board.

    (19) "Industrial alcohol distributor's license" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board that allows holders to sell pure ethyl or grain alcohol of at least 190 proof in quantities of five gallons or more directly to manufacturers, industrial users, hospitals, druggists, and institutions of learning.

    (20) "Keg" means a reusable container capable of holding at least five gallons of malt beverage or at least two-and-one-half gallons of vinous beverage.

    (21) "Legal age" means 21 years of age or older.

    (22) "Liquor Control Board" means the board of control appointed under the provisions of chapter 5 of this title.

    (23) "Malt beverages" means all fermented beverages of any name or description manufactured for sale from malt, wholly or in part, or from any substitute therefor, known as, among other things, beer, ale, or lager, containing not less than one percent nor more than 16 percent of alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (24) "Manufacturer's or rectifier's license" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board that permits the holder to manufacture or rectify malt beverages, vinous beverages and fortified wines, or spirits and fortified wines.

    (25) "Minor" means an individual who has not attained 21 years of age.

    (26) "Outside consumption permit" means a permit granted by the Department of Liquor Control allowing the holder of a first-class, first- and third-class, or fourth-class license to allow for consumption of alcoholic beverages in a delineated outside area.

    (27) "Packager's license" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting a person to bottle or otherwise package alcoholic beverages for sale and to distribute and sell alcoholic beverages at wholesale in this State.

    (28) "Person", as applied to licensees, means an individual who is a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States; a partnership composed of individuals, a majority of whom are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States; a corporation organized under the laws of this State or another state in which a majority of the directors are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States; or a limited liability company organized under the laws of this State or another state in which a majority of the members or managers are citizens or lawful permanent residents of the United States.

    (29) "Request to cater permit" means a permit granted by the Department of Liquor Control authorizing a licensed caterer or commercial caterer to cater individual events.

    (30) "Retail dealer" means any person who sells or furnishes malt or vinous beverages to the public.

    (31) "Retail delivery permit" means a permit granted by the Department of Liquor Control that permits a second-class licensee to deliver malt beverages or vinous beverages sold from the licensed premises for consumption off the premises to an individual who is at least 21 years of age at a physical address in Vermont.

    (32) "Sampler flight" means a flight, ski, paddle, or any similar device by design or name intended to hold alcoholic beverage samples for the purpose of comparison.

    (33) "Second-class license" means a license permitting the licensee to export malt beverages or vinous beverages and to sell malt beverages or vinous beverages to the public for consumption off the premises for which the license is granted.

    (34) "Special event permit" means a permit granted by the Department of Liquor Control permitting a licensed manufacturer or rectifier to sell, by the glass or by the unopened bottle, alcoholic beverages manufactured or rectified by the license holder at an event open to the public that has been approved by the local control commissioners.

    (35) "Special venue serving permit" means a permit granted by the Department of Liquor Control permitting an art gallery, bookstore, public library, or museum to conduct an event at which malt or vinous beverages or both are served by the glass to the public. As used in this section, "art gallery" means a fixed establishment whose primary purpose is to exhibit or offer for sale works of art; "bookstore" means a fixed establishment whose primary purpose is to offer books for sale; "public library" has the same meaning as in 22 V.S.A. § 101; and "museum" has the same meaning as in 27 V.S.A. § 1151.

    (36) "Specialty beer" means a malt beverage that contains more than eight percent alcohol and not more than 16 percent alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (37) "Spirits" means beverages that contain more than one percent of alcohol obtained by distillation, by chemical synthesis, or through concentration by freezing; vinous beverages containing more than 23 percent of alcohol; and malt beverages containing more than 16 percent of alcohol by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (38) "Third-class license" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting the licensee to sell spirits and fortified wines for consumption only on the premises for which the license is granted.

    (39) "Vinous beverages" means all fermented beverages of any name or description manufactured or obtained for sale from the natural sugar content of fruits or other agricultural product, containing sugar, the alcoholic content of which is not less than one percent nor more than 16 percent by volume at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

    (40) "Wholesale dealer's license" means a license granted by the Liquor Control Board permitting the holder to sell or distribute malt or vinous beverages to first- and second-class licensees, to educational sampling event permit holders, and to agencies of the United States. (Amended 1959, No. 329 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 33, 39(b), eff. March 1, 1961; 1961, No. 76; 1964, No. 1 (Sp. Sess.); 1971, No. 64, § 1; 1973, No. 34, § 3; 1975, No. 44, § 1, eff. April 15, 1975; 1979, No. 103 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 2, 1980; 1979, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; 1981, No. 137 (Adj. Sess.) § 1, eff. April 6, 1982; 1981, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1985, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1985, No. 159 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1987, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. May 11, 1988; 1989, No. 138 (Adj. Sess.); 1991, No. 250 (Adj. Sess.); 1993, No. 46, § 3; 1993, No. 112 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2, eff. Feb. 18, 1994; 1993, No. 168 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1995, 1993, No. 26, § 1; 1995, No. 69 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. Feb. 15, 1996; 1995, No. 121 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1997, No. 50, § 46, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 61, § 210a, eff. June 26, 1997; 1997, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 4, 6; 1999, No. 111 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 9, § 1, 2; 2001, No. 25, § 1; 2001, No. 74 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2001, No. 143 (Adj. Sess.), § 7, eff. June 21, 2002; 2003, No. 70 (Adj. Sess.), § 62, eff. March 1, 2004; 2003, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2005, No. 140 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 2, 5, 8, eff. May 10, 2006; 2007, No. 21, § 1, eff. May 10, 2007; 2007, No. 167 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2007, No. 210 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2009, No. 10, § 1, eff. May 5, 2009; 2009, No. 77 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. April 13, 2010; 2009, No. 102 (Adj. Sess.), § 1, eff. May 11, 2010; 2011, No. 52, § 76, eff. May 27, 2011; 2011, No. 115 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2013, No. 64, § 1; 2013, No. 72, § 22; 2013, No. 202 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. June 24, 2014; 2015, No. 51, § A.4, eff. date, see note set out below; 2015, No. 51, § A.14, eff. Jan. 1, 2016; 2015, No. 144 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 2017, No. 83, § 2.)

  • § 3. Culinary arts students; exemptions from provisions of title

    A student 18 years of age or older who is enrolled in a postsecondary education culinary arts program, accredited by a commission recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, shall be exempt from the provisions of this title while attending classes that require the possession or consumption of alcoholic beverages. (Added 1985, No. 99 (Adj. Sess.) § 2; amended 2017, No. 83, § 3.)

  • § 4. Nonprofit organizations; alcoholic beverage auctions; fundraising

    (a) A nonprofit organization qualified for tax exempt status pursuant to Section 501(c) of the federal Internal Revenue Code, as amended, in the discretion of the Commissioner, may auction alcoholic beverages to the public without a license, provided that:

    (1) Prior to the auction, the organization provides written notification of the auction accompanied by documentation of its nonprofit status satisfactory to the Commissioner.

    (2) The Commissioner approves the organization's nonprofit qualifications and the organization's proposal to auction alcoholic beverages.

    (3) The profits from the auctioned beverages are used solely for the expenses of the nonprofit organization related to conducting the auction or for the nonprofit purposes of the organization.

    (b) A person who donates alcoholic beverages to a nonprofit organization for an auction under this section is not required to be licensed under this title.

    (c) A licensee under this title may donate alcoholic beverages to a nonprofit organization pursuant to this section, provided the licensee pays to the State all the taxes that would be due if the alcoholic beverages had been sold in the course of the licensee's business.

    (d) If an auction under this section is conducted on the premises of a licensee under this title, beverages donated for auction may be given and accepted without including the beverages on the licensee's invoice.

    (e) A purchaser of beverages auctioned by a nonprofit organization pursuant to this section shall not be responsible for payment of any sales tax. (Added 2005, No. 40, § 1, eff. June 2, 2005; amended 2017, No. 83, § 4.)

  • § 5. Department of Liquor Control; raffles for right to purchase rare and unusual products

    (a) Notwithstanding any provision of 13 V.S.A. chapter 51 to the contrary, the Department of Liquor Control may conduct raffles for the right to purchase certain rare and unusual spirits and fortified wines that are acquired by the Liquor Control Board. A raffle conducted pursuant to this section shall meet the following requirements:

    (1) Tickets to enter the raffle shall only be available for purchase to a member of the general public who is 21 years of age or older.

    (2) Tickets for the raffle shall be sold at a price fixed by the Commissioner.

    (3) All notices or advertisements relating to the raffle shall clearly state:

    (A) the price of a raffle ticket;

    (B) the date of the drawing;

    (C) the sales price of each rare and unusual spirit or fortified wine; and

    (D) that the winning prize will be the right to purchase the rare and unusual spirit or fortified wine for the specified sales price.

    (4) No Board member or employee of the Department and no immediate family member of a Board member or employee of the Department shall be permitted to enter the raffle.

    (b) The proceeds from the sale of tickets for each raffle shall be deposited in the Liquor Control Enterprise Fund established pursuant to section 112 of this title.

    (c) As used in this section, "rare and unusual spirits and fortified wines" means spirits and fortified wines that are distributed or allocated to the Board in an amount that is insufficient for general distribution to local agency stores and for which the Commissioner determines that an extraordinary level of public demand exists. (Added 2017, No. 83, § 163.)