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Licensees should know that there have been additional beneficial changes to the Liquor Code as the result of Governor Corbett signing Act 113 of 2011 into law on December 22, 2011. There are a number of changes as hours of operation and reporting requires, which I will address in this article and in future articles.

SUNDAY SALES HOURS – MUST HAVE A MEAL

The hours of operation on Sundays were changed for licensees holding a hotel restaurant, municipal golf course restaurant, privately-owned public golf course restaurant, eating place retail dispense, or municipal golf course retail dispenser license. These licensees must have a Sunday sales permit to enable them to sell alcohol on Sundays between 9:00 A.M. and 11:00 A.M with the critical proviso that those licensees must offer a meal to start selling alcoholic beverages at 9:00 A.M. This is the change.

If you do not offer a meal, you may only start selling alcohol at 11:00 A.M. on Sundays. The key condition to this change is the requirement of offering a meal The Liquor Code defines a meal as “food prepared on the premises sufficient to constitute breakfast, lunch or dinner.” Licensees, specifically by the statute, cannot include snacks such as “pretzels, popcorn, potato chips or similar food” as the “meal.” Provide meals such as breakfast or brunch at 9:00 A.M. through to 11:00 A.M. and meals during the rest of your operating hours on Sunday.

Please note that all licensees whenever they sell alcoholic beverages are required to have available to their patrons some type of food that complies with the definition of a meal.

This change in the law was effective on December 22, 2011.

NEW SUNDAY HOURS FOR DISTRIBUTORS AND IMPORTING DISTRIBUTORS

Distributors and Importing Distributors who also hold a Sunday sales permit from the PLCB may now sell malt or brewed beverages on Sundays between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. The previous version of the law only permitted Sunday sales between the hours of 12:00 P.M. and 5:00 P.M.

The Distributor and Importing Distributor Licensees must not only possess a Sunday sales permit, they may only sell malt and brewed beverages to non-licensees and holders of special occasion permits. Therefore, Distributor/Importing Distributor Licensees may not sell to bars and restaurants holding liquor licenses between the hours of 9:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. on Sundays.

This change in the law was effective on December 22, 2011.

MANDATORY MANAGERS’ RAMP TRAINING

Act 113 of 2011 has finally made the Responsible Alcohol Management Program (RAMP) training mandatory for all new managers appointed by restaurant, eating place dispenser, hotel, club, limited distillery or distributor licensees as of February 20, 2012. All new managers appointed for those licensees on or after February 20, 2012 must complete the Manager/Owner training portion of the PLCB’s RAMP program within 180 days from the date that the PLCB approves the manager’s appointment.

The failure by any manager to complete the RAMP program could result in a citation being brought against the licensee who employs that manager. Licensees must take care to comply with this requirement since it could be easily overlooked.


As a follow-up to last month’s column, there are two (2) more changes made to the Liquor Code, which licensees need to know. Click here to read more