NYS ABC Law
Alcoholic Beverage Control Law
New York State Consolidated Laws
Alcoholic Beverage Control Law Search
Article 1 - NY Alcoholic Beverage Control Law
SHORT TITLE; POLICY OF STATE AND PURPOSE OF CHAPTER; DEFINITIONS
||Policy of state and purpose of chapter.
S 1. Short title. This chapter shall be known and may be cited and
referred to as the "alcoholic beverage control law."
S 2. Policy of state and purpose of chapter. It is hereby declared
as the policy of the state that it is necessary to regulate and control
the manufacture, sale and distribution within the state of alcoholic
beverages for the purpose of fostering and promoting temperance in their
consumption and respect for and obedience to law; for the primary
purpose of promoting the health, welfare and safety of the people of the
state, promoting temperance in the consumption of alcoholic beverages;
and, to the extent possible, supporting economic growth, job
development, and the state's alcoholic beverage production industries
and its tourism and recreation industry; and which promotes the
conservation and enhancement of state agricultural lands; provided that
such activities do not conflict with the primary regulatory objectives
of this chapter. It is hereby declared that such policies will best be
carried out by empowering the liquor authority of the state to determine
whether public convenience and advantage will be promoted by the
issuance of licenses to traffic in alcoholic beverages, the increase or
decrease in the number thereof and the location of premises licensed
thereby, subject only to the right of judicial review provided for in
this chapter. It is the purpose of this chapter to carry out these
policies in the public interest.
S 3. Definitions. Whenever used in this chapter, unless the context
1. "Alcoholic beverage" or "beverage" mean and include alcohol,
spirits, liquor, wine, beer, cider and every liquid, solid, powder or
crystal, patented or not, containing alcohol, spirits, wine or beer and
capable of being consumed by a human being, and any warehouse receipt,
certificate, contract or other document pertaining thereto; except that
confectionery containing alcohol as provided by subdivision twelve of
section two hundred of the agriculture and markets law and ice cream and
other frozen desserts made with wine as provided in subdivision fifteen
of section two hundred of the agriculture and markets law shall not be
regulated as an "alcoholic beverage" or "beverage" within the meaning of
this section where the sale, delivery or giving away is to a person aged
twenty-one years or older. The sale, delivery or giving away of ice
cream made with wine to a person under the age of twenty-one years may
be prosecuted administratively and/or criminally in accordance with the
provisions of this chapter.
2. "Alcohol" means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl or spirit of
wine from whatever source or by whatever processes produced.
3. "Beer" means and includes any fermented beverages of any name or
description manufactured from malt, wholly or in part, or from any
3-a. "Biomass feedstock" shall mean any substance, other than oil,
natural gas, coal, shale or products derived from any of these which is
capable of being converted into alcohol, including but not be limited to
wood and other forest materials, animal manure, municipal wastes, food
crops and other agricultural materials.
3-b. "Bona fide retailer association" shall mean an association of
retailers holding licenses under this chapter, organized under the
non-profit or not-for-profit laws of this state, and possessing a
federal tax exemption under section 501(c) of the Internal Revenue Code
of the United States.
4. "Brewery" means and includes any place or premises where beer is
manufactured for sale; and all offices, granaries, mashrooms,
cooling-rooms, vaults, yards, and storerooms connected therewith or
where any part of the process of manufacture of beer is carried on, or
where any apparatus connected with such manufacture is kept or used, or
where any of the products of brewing or fermentation are stored or kept,
shall be deemed to be included in and to form part of the brewery to
which they are attached or are appurtenant.
5. "Brewer" means any person who owns, occupies, carries on, works, or
conducts any brewery, either by himself or by his agent.
6. "Board" or "local board" or "appropriate board" or "board having
jurisdiction" shall mean the state liquor authority.
7. "Building containing licensed premises" shall include the licensed
premises and also any part of a building in which such premises is
contained and any part of any other building connected with such
building by direct access or by a common entrance.
7-a. "Catering establishment" means and includes any premises owned or
operated by any person, firm, association, partnership or corporation
who or which regularly and in a bona fide manner furnishes for hire
therein one or more ballrooms, reception rooms, dining rooms, banquet
halls, dancing halls or similar places of assemblage for a particular
function, occasion or event and/or who or which furnishes provisions and
service for consumption or use at such function, occasion or event. Such
premises must have suitable and adequate facilities and accommodations
to provide food and service for not less than fifty persons at any one
function, occasion or event and shall in no event be deemed to include
any taxi dance hall or any other premises at which public dances are
regularly scheduled to be held daily, weekly or monthly and to which the
general public is invited.
7-b. (a) "Cider" means the partially or fully fermented juice of
fresh, whole apples or other pome fruits, containing more than three and
two-tenths per centum but not more than eight and one-half per centum
alcohol by volume: (i) to which nothing has been added to increase the
alcoholic content produced by natural fermentation; and (ii) with the
usual cellar treatments and necessary additions to correct defects due
to climate, saccharine levels and seasonal conditions. Nothing contained
in this subdivision shall be deemed to preclude the use of such methods
or materials as may be necessary to encourage a normal alcoholic
fermentation and to make a product that is free of microbiological
activity at the time of sale. Cider may be sweetened or flavored after
fermentation with fruit juice, fruit juice concentrate, sugar, maple
syrup, honey, spices or other agricultural products, separately or in
combination. Cider may contain retained or added carbon dioxide.
(b) In the event that an alcoholic beverage meets the definition of
both a cider, as defined in this subdivision, and a wine, as defined in
subdivision thirty-six of this section, the brand or trade name label
owner of such alcoholic beverage shall designate whether such alcoholic
beverage shall be sold as a cider or a wine for all purposes under this
7-c. "Cidery" means and includes any place or premises wherein cider
is manufactured for sale.
7-d. "Farm cidery" means and includes any place or premises, located
on a farm in New York state, in which New York state labelled cider is
manufactured, stored and sold, or any other place or premises in New
York state in which New York state labelled cider is manufactured,
stored and sold.
8. "Convicted" and "conviction" include and mean a finding of guilt
resulting from a plea of guilty, the decision of a court or magistrate
or the verdict of a jury, irrespective of the pronouncement of judgment
or the suspension thereof.
9. "Club" shall mean an organization of persons incorporated pursuant
to the provisions of the not-for-profit corporation law or the
benevolent orders law, which is the owner, lessee or occupant of a
building used exclusively for club purposes, and which does not traffic
in alcoholic beverages for profit and is operated solely for a
recreational, social, patriotic, political, benevolent or athletic
purpose but not for pecuniary gain; except that where such club is
located in an office or business building, or state armory, it may be
licensed as such provided it otherwise qualifies as a "club" within the
meaning of this subdivision. A "luncheon club" shall mean a club which
is open only on week days during the hours between eleven o'clock in the
morning and three o'clock in the afternoon. A "member" of a club shall
mean a person who whether a charter member or admitted in agreement with
the by-laws of the club, has become a bona fide member thereof, who
maintains his or her membership by the payment of his or her annual dues
in a bona fide manner in accordance with the by-laws and whose name and
address is entered on the list of members; or in the case of a veterans
club where a person has in his or her possession an identification card
indicating his or her membership in the national veterans' organization
with which the club at which he or she is present is affiliated. For the
purposes of this section a veterans club shall include but not be
limited to the Grand Army of the Republic, the United Spanish War
Veterans, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the Jewish War Veterans of the
United States, Inc., the Catholic War Veterans, Inc., the Italian
American War Veterans of the United States, Incorporated, the Polish
Legion of American Veterans, Inc., the Marine Corps League, the Military
Order of the Purple Heart, Inc., the American Legion, the Disabled
American Veterans, AMVETS, American Veterans of World War II, Masonic
War Veterans of the State of New York, Inc., Veterans of World War I of
the United States of America Department of New York, Inc.,
China-Burma-India Veterans Association, Inc., Polish-American Veterans
of World War II, the Sons of Union Veterans, Vietnam Veterans of
America, the Eastern Paralyzed Veterans Association, the Sons of the
American Legion, or the American Legion Auxiliary. In the case of a
chapter or lodge of a not-for-profit corporation or a benevolent order
qualifying as an organization described in section 501(c)(8) or
501(c)(10) of the United States internal revenue code, a member of
another chapter or lodge of such not-for-profit corporation or
benevolent order who has in his or her possession an identification card
or other proof of membership shall be deemed to be a member. A club and
a luncheon club shall appoint an alcoholic beverage officer from among
its members who shall be responsible for filing all applications and
other documents required to be submitted to the authority. The person
appointed alcoholic beverage officer shall be subject to approval by the
9-a. "Custom crush facility" means a licensed winery or farm winery
which obtains grapes, fruits and other plants grown exclusively in New
York state from, or on behalf of, other licensed wineries or farm
wineries and crushes, processes, ferments, bottles or conducts any
combination of such services for such other licensed wineries or farm
10. "Distiller" means any person who owns, occupies, carries on,
works, conducts or operates any distillery either by himself or by his
11. "Distillery" means and includes any place or premises wherein any
liquors are manufactured for sale.
11-a. "Farm distillery" means and includes any place or premises
located on a farm in New York state in which liquor is manufactured and
sold, or any other place or premises in New York state in which liquor
is manufactured primarily from farm and food products, as defined in
subdivision two of section two hundred eighty-two of the agriculture and
markets law, and such liquor is sold.
12. "Drug store" means a place registered by the New York state board
of pharmacy for the sale of drugs.
12-a. "Farm winery" means and includes any place or premises, located
on a farm in New York state, in which wine is manufactured and sold.
12-aa. "Farm" means the land, buildings and equipment used to produce,
prepare and market crops, livestock and livestock products as a
commercial enterprise. A farm may consist of one or more parcels of
owned or rented land, which parcels may be contiguous or noncontiguous
to each other.
12-aaa. "Farm brewery" means and includes any place or premises,
located on a farm in New York state, in which New York state labelled
beer is manufactured, stored and sold, or any other place or premises in
New York state in which New York state labelled beer is manufactured,
stored and sold.
12-b. "Felony" shall mean any criminal offense classified as a felony
under the laws of this state or any criminal offense committed in any
other state, district, or territory of the United States and classified
as a felony therein which if committed within this state, would
constitute a felony in this state.
12-c. "Government agency" means any department, division, board,
bureau, commission, office, agency, authority or public corporation of
the state or federal government or a county, city, town or village
government within the state.
13. "Grocery store" means any retail establishment where foodstuffs
are regularly and customarily sold in a bona fide manner for the
consumption off the premises.
14. "Hotel" shall mean a building which is regularly used and kept
open as such in bona fide manner for the feeding and lodging of guests,
where all who conduct themselves properly and who are able and ready to
pay for such services are received if there be accommodations for them.
The term "hotel" shall also include an apartment hotel wherein
apartments are rented for fixed periods of time, either furnished or
unfurnished, where the keeper of such hotel regularly supplies food to
the occupants thereof in a restaurant located in such hotel. "Hotel"
shall also mean and include buildings (commonly called a motel) upon the
same lot of land and owned or in possession under a lease in writing by
the same person or firm who maintains such buildings for the lodging of
guests and supplies them with food from a restaurant located upon the
15. "Liquor authority" and "authority" mean the state liquor authority
provided for in this chapter.
17. "License" means a license issued pursuant to this chapter.
17-a. " Seven day license" means a license issued pursuant to this
chapter and where the off premise retail license holder may remain open
to the consumer all seven days of the week.
18. "Licensee" means any person to whom a license has been issued
pursuant to this chapter.
19. "Liquor" means and includes any and all distilled or rectified
spirits, brandy, whiskey, rum, gin, cordials or similar distilled
alcoholic beverages, including all dilutions and mixtures of one or more
of the foregoing.
20. "Manufacturer" means and includes a distiller, brewer, vintner and
rectifier; "Manufacture" means and includes distilling, rectifying,
brewing and operating a winery.
20-a. "New York state labelled wine" means wine made from grapes or
other fruits, at least seventy-five percent the volume of which were
grown in New York state.
20-b. "Micro-winery" means and includes any place or premises located
on a farm in New York state in which wine or cider is manufactured and
20-c. "New York state labelled liquor" means liquors made from fruit,
vegetables, grain and grain products, honey, maple sap or other
agricultural products, at least seventy-five percent the volume of which
were grown or produced in New York state.
20-d. "New York state labelled beer" means:
(a) from the effective date of this subdivision until December
thirty-first, two thousand eighteen, beer made with no less than twenty
percent, by weight, of its hops grown in New York state and no less than
twenty percent, by weight, of all of its other ingredients, excluding
water, grown in New York state;
(b) from January first, two thousand nineteen until December
thirty-first, two thousand twenty-three, beer made with no less than
sixty percent, by weight, of its hops grown in New York state and no
less than sixty percent, by weight, of all of its other ingredients,
excluding water, grown in New York state; and
(c) from January first, two thousand twenty-four and thereafter, beer
made with no less than ninety percent, by weight, of its hops grown in
New York state and no less than ninety percent, by weight, of all of its
other ingredients, excluding water, grown in New York state.
20-e. "New York state labelled cider" means cider made exclusively
from apples or other pome fruits grown in New York state.
21. "Permittee" means any person to whom a permit has been issued
pursuant to this chapter.
22. "Person" includes an individual, copartnership, corporations,
society, joint stock company, alcoholic beverage officer appointed by a
club or a luncheon club or limited liability company.
23. "Population" means the number of inhabitants as determined by the
last preceding federal census.
24. "Rectifier" means and includes any person who rectifies, purifies
or refines distilled spirits or wines by any process other than as
provided for on distillery premises and every person who, without
rectifying, purifying or refining distilled spirits, shall, by mixing
such spirits, wine or other liquor with water or any materials,
manufactures any imitation of or compounds liquors for sale under the
name of whiskey, brandy, gin, rum, wine, spirits, cordials, bitters or
any other name.
25. "Retail sale" or "sale at retail" means a sale to a consumer or to
any person for any purpose other than for resale.
26. "Retailer" means any person who sells at retail any beverage for
the sale of which a license is required under the provisions of this
27. "Restaurant" shall mean a place which is regularly and in a bona
fide manner used and kept open for the serving of meals to guests for
compensation and which has suitable kitchen facilities connected
therewith, containing conveniences for cooking an assortment of foods,
which may be required for ordinary meals, the kitchen of which must, at
all times, be in charge of a chef with the necessary help, and kept in a
sanitary condition with the proper amount of refrigeration for keeping
of food on said premises and must comply with all the regulations of the
local department of health. Restaurant shall include a motion picture
theatre, movie theatre or other venue that shows motion pictures that
meet the definitions of restaurant and meals, and all seating is at
tables where meals are served. "Meals" shall mean the usual assortment
of foods commonly ordered at various hours of the day; the service of
such food and victuals only as sandwiches or salads shall not be deemed
a compliance with this requirement. "Guests" shall mean persons who,
during the hours when meals are regularly served therein, come to a
restaurant for the purpose of obtaining, and actually order and obtain
at such time, in good faith, a meal therein. Nothing in this subdivision
contained, however, shall be construed to require that any food be sold
or purchased with any beverage.
27-a. "Roadside farm market" means any retailer authorized to sell New
York state labelled wine pursuant to section seventy-six-f of this
28. "Sale" means any transfer, exchange or barter in any manner or by
any means whatsoever for a consideration, and includes and means all
sales made by any person, whether principal, proprietor, agent, servant
or employee of any alcoholic beverage and/or a warehouse receipt
pertaining thereto. "To sell" includes to solicit or receive an order
for, to keep or expose for sale, and to keep with intent to sell and
shall include the delivery of any alcoholic beverage in the state.
29. "Spirits" means any beverage which contains alcohol obtained by
distillation mixed with drinkable water and other substances in
30. "Traffic in" includes to manufacture and sell any alcoholic
beverage at wholesale or retail.
30-a. "Transfer" means the administrative processes involved in
issuing a license to a new applicant for an existing licensed business.
Transfer applicants shall be under contract with the existing licensee
for purchase of the existing licensed business.
31. "Vehicle" shall include any device in, upon or by which any person
or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a public highway,
road, street or public place.
32. "Vessel" includes any ship or boat of any kind whatsoever, whether
propelled by steam or otherwise and whether used as a sea-going vessel
or on inland waters which is properly equipped for the service of
33. "Vintner" means any person who owns, occupies, carries on, works,
conducts or operates any winery either by himself or by his agent.
34. "Wholesale sale" or "sale at wholesale" means a sale to any person
for purposes of resale.
35. "Wholesaler" means any person who sells at wholesale any beverage
for the sale of which a license is required under the provisions of this
36. "Wine" means the product of the normal alcoholic fermentation of
the juice of fresh, sound, ripe grapes, or other fruits or plants with
the usual cellar treatment and necessary additions to correct defects
due to climatic, saccharine and seasonal conditions, including
champagne, sparkling and fortified wine of an alcoholic content not to
exceed twenty-four per centum by volume. Wine produced from fruits or
plants other than grapes shall include appropriate prefixes descriptive
of the fruit or the product from which such wine was predominantly
produced, and no other product shall be called "wine" unless designated
as artificial or imitation wine.
36-a. "Wine product" means a beverage containing wine to which is
added concentrated or unconcentrated juice, flavoring material, water,
citric acid, sugar and carbon dioxide and containing not more than six
per centum alcohol by volume, to which nothing other than such wine has
been added to increase the alcoholic content of such beverage.
37. "Winery" means and includes any place or premises wherein wines
are manufactured from any fruit or brandies distilled as the by-product
of wine or other fruit or cordials compounded and also includes a winery
for the manufacture of wine in any state other than New York state and
which has and maintains a branch factory, office or storeroom within the
state of New York and receives wine in this state consigned to a United
States government bonded winery, warehouse or storeroom located within
38. "Warehouse" means and includes a place in which alcoholic
beverages are housed or stored.
Top of Page
- A comprehensive on-line digest of New York's criminal code.