can a bar give away liquor for free if it chose to? What if they don't have a liquor llicense?
Yes and it would have to be given free if they do not have a liquor license since the license must be had to sell it.
are you positive and do you know where this law is written? does it apply in nashville,tn?
In TN you need an "On premises consumption license" even if you give it away free.
Is an "on premises consumption license" specific to liquor? for example, if a bar loses a liquor license but was running functionally before it lost the license, would it still be able to give away liquor? Lets say it still has a license to sell beer.
Yes it is specific to liquor. If there is a license to sell beer then they can sell or give away beer but not liquor unless you have the liquor license to sell or the on premises consumption license for liquor.
If a customer comes into a bar with their own liquor, is the "on premises consumption license" needed? is any license needed
As long as you do not supply the liquor or charge a cover charge for them to enter with the liquor, you do not need the license.
Thank you. you are very helpful. What if a third party supplies all the liquor and give it away at the bar for free?
That is streching the legality. You may be able to get away with that but if the licensing board sites you for a violation you should not try it again. Since the liquor would be provided to patrons on your premises my reading of the law says you need to have the consumption license since the patrons did not bring their own with them.
what happens if the licensing board cites a violation? penalties? fines? imprisonment? getting shut down?
For a first citation it is fines, then any subsequent citations can be shutting down, but not imprisonment.
do you know about how much in fines?
I could not find a penalty matrix for the Tenn. Board. But in most states, like TX, the fines start at $200.
are there any type of criminal penalties? also, what is the penalty for buying or selling liquor without a license in tn?
Yes it can be a class B mis for selling without a license.
so what would be the penalty for being caught giving away liquor if the license has been taken away and there have been no previous citations?
It is a class A mis with a $1500 fine.
This is my last question. You will get great feedback from me. I own a bar and I will lose my liquor license tomorrow for failure to pay backtaxes and other debts. I will still have a license to sell beer. Since I have already paid for liquor, I am thinking of giving it away in order to promote my bar and help sell beer and food. Any advice? and also, given the way i described my situation, do you know if the board taking my liquor license also means they take my on premises consumption license?
Since the two licenses are two different licenses then since they are revoking the liquor license you would have to apply for the consumption license. You can still sell the beer but you should not give away the liquor unless you are confident they will not catch you giving it away. For a first offense they will not put you in jail or take away your beer license but for any subsequent violations they could impose a greater fine, or 1 year in jail and/or revoke your beer license.
do you know how long the application for the consumption license is? as long as the liquor license process?
Yes it is as long as the liquor license process.
Attorney-Business degree from The University of Texas
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