The Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control FAQs Archives

Municipalities in New Jersey have the ability to issue new liquor licenses as the population grows. New Jersey municipalities can offer one plenary retail consumption liquor license (used for a bar, tavern or restaurant) for every 3,000 residents. The population has grown significantly enough for Jackson Township to offer such a license. Resolution number 394R-11 outlines Jackson’s intent to sell a liquor license to the highest bidder in a public sale. In order for Jackson to successfully execute the public sale, it will adhere to the strictures of N.J.S.A. 33:1-19.3 and N.J.S.A. 33: 1-19.4. The Title 33 statutes outline the…

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Wineries throughout the country will now be able to ship wine directly to New Jersey residents for the first time. The law also allows for licensed retail establishments to open tasting rooms in New Jersey, provided they obtain the necessary license issued by the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The new license was signed by New Jersey governor, Chris Christie, in January of 2012 ends nearly 9 years of litigation and legislative debate over direct shipping. Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa said, “New Jersey residents will now have another convenient way to purchase the excellent wines offered by our many…

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Much of New Jersey’s laws from the Department of Law & Public Safety: Office of the Attorney General: Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) deal with how and with what methods bars (retail licensees) may offer complimentary drinks. The general rule is that a licensee cannot sell any alcoholic beverage, whether in original package or by the drink, which would fall below the cost of that beverage to the retail licensee. Cost to the retail licensee is determined by the actual total price on the invoice from the wholesaler. This price shall include all applicable taxes. Then, the cost of…

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What is New Jersey Law on BYOB (Bring Your Own Bottle)?

In New Jersey, customers of an unlicensed restaurant may be permitted by the restaurant to bring their own wine or beer unless there is as municipal ordinance prohibiting it. However, restaurant owners may not advertise the fact that they are a B.Y.O.B. friendly restaurant. They also may not allow customers to bring liquor or hard alcohol to the restaurant. They may supply glasses, ice, etc. but cannot impose a cover charge, corkage charge, or service charge for any services related to supplying these items. Furthermore, the restaurant must operate diligently and prevent anyone under the age of 21 years old…

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Given the recent spike of underage drinking, fake ID, and other related charges written in Monmouth County and Ocean County, it is not surprising that liquor license owners, bartenders, and managers are worried. There is a heightened need among owners to hire bouncers, off-duty police officers, and experienced individuals to check ID’s at the door and at the bar because the penalties to the New Jersey liquor license owner for a violation of selling to an underage person can be quite stringent. In a recent article, a Liquor License owner in New Jersey faced charges of selling alcohol to minors….

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For years local New Jersey wineries have enjoyed advantages over their out of state counter parts when selling wine to locals and when dealing with their competition. That appears to have been changed by a ruling of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. In Freeman v. Corzine the Court held in an opinion filed December 17, 2010 that New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control laws permitting only in-state wineries to sell directly to retailers and consumers in facially discriminatory in violation of the dormant Commerce Clause. See New Jersey Statute 33:1-10(2a) and (2b). The provision allowing in-state,…

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It is within the power of the New Jersey Alcoholic Beverage Control to enter establishments selling alcoholic beverages through their retail liquor licenses and request to see their accounting and record keeping books. In the busy day to day activities of running an establishment many New Jersey liquor license owners may not always remember to update their records and this, which may seem like a harmless error, could harm their business in both the short and long term. N.J.A.C. 13:2-29.4 deals with the administration and rules regarding record keeping on an alcoholic beverage selling premises and states that unless specificed…

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Though it may be tempting for business owners of retail liquor licenses throughout New Jersey to purchase the alcohol they sell at their own establishments from any number of sources, New Jersey ABC regulations largely prohibit business owners from doing so. According to New Jersey Administrative Code 13:2-23.12(a), a retail licensee shall purchase alcoholic beverages only from a manufacturer or wholesaler. Otherwise a special permit must first be obtained. Generally the sale of alcoholic beverages from one retail to another is prohibited by N.J.A.C 13:2-23.12(b), unless there is a passage of title from transferor to transferee, in which case once…

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A frequently recurring issue involved in the sale of alcohol and the licenses granted to do so is the distance required between establishments holding liquor licenses located in the same municipality. Municipalities differ in the amount of distance required in between establishments holding liquor licenses; the allocated distance will vary from town to town. For instance in Point Pleasant Beach Borough, located in Ocean County, New Jersey, a distance of five hundred feet in between liquor selling establishments- including manufacturers and wholesalers- is generally required according to Municipal Ordinance Chapter 4-3.3(a). In the event that two premises holding licenses to…

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An important and recurring issue for the owners of establishments providing for the sale of alcoholic beverages, or holding a liquor license, is the amount of distance that the New Jersey state regulations require the establishment to be located from schools and churches. The relevant state statute, N.J.S.A. 33:1-76, determines that the location of an establishment selling liquor may not be less than two hundred feet from a church or school. N.J.S.A. 33:1-76 states in part that “no license shall be issued for the sale of alcoholic beverages within two hundred feet of any church or public schoolhouse or private…

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