Current law prohibits:
- A person from selling alcohol beverages at retail in sealed containers unless the person holds a retail liquor store or liquor-licensed drugstore license;
- A person from removing alcohol beverages from an establishment that is licensed under the 'Colorado Liquor Code' to sell alcohol beverages only for consumption on the licensed premises; and
- A person licensed to sell alcohol beverages at retail to have on the licensed premises any alcohol beverage that the licensee is not permitted under its license to sell.
These prohibitions preclude an organization holding a special event at a premises licensed to sell alcohol beverages for consumption on the licensed premises from bringing alcohol beverages in sealed containers onto the premises in order to auction the alcohol beverages for fundraising purposes.
The bill provides exceptions to these prohibitions and specifically allows certain organizations to bring onto and remove from the premises where the event will be held, whether licensed or unlicensed, alcohol beverages in sealed containers that were donated to or otherwise lawfully obtained by the organization and will be used for an auction for fundraising purposes as long as the alcohol beverages remain in sealed containers at all times and the licensee does not realize any financial gain related to the alcohol beverage auction.
The exceptions are authorized for an organization that is eligible to apply for a special event permit, is exempted from special event permit requirements, or is holding a special event at a retail premises licensed to sell alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption.
The retail value of alcohol beverages donated by a retail liquor store, liquor-licensed drugstore, or fermented malt beverage retailer is not included in the calculation of the $2,000 limit on the purchase of alcohol beverages from those retailers by persons licensed to sell alcohol beverages for on-premises consumption. Additionally, a retailer that donates alcohol beverages is liable for unlawful acts committed by the organization or other person involving the donated alcohol beverages or on the licensed premises where the event is held. If an unlawful act is committed on a licensed premises where a special event is held, the licensing authorities are required to consider mitigating factors, including the licensee's lack of knowledge of the violation, in determining whether to hold the licensee responsible.
The bill applies to the following types of organizations:
- An organization formed for a social, fraternal, patriotic, political, or athletic purpose and not for pecuniary gain;
- An organization that is a regularly chartered branch, lodge, or chapter of a national organization or society organized for social, fraternal, patriotic, political, or fraternal purposes and is nonprofit in nature;
- An organization that is a regularly established religious or philanthropic institution;
- An organization that is a state institution of higher education; or
- A political candidate.
(Note: This summary applies to the reengrossed version of this bill as introduced in the second house.)