Most of us go to our favorite bar blissfully oblivious to the complex and sometimes baffling laws and legal loopholes many places have to jump though. we’re here to shine a light on some of those laws and legalities that many establishments have to put up with that the general public has no idea about. here are 10:
Drinking in public is still illegal
It has been decriminalized, but that doesn’t make it legal. You’ll get a summons, so be careful with that beach drinking.
Bars are all allowed to sell bottled and canned beer to go …but that doesn’t apply to all drinks.
You can legally buy any bottle or can of beer in NY as long as it is sealed. Beware though! Not all drinks have the same rules! Wine: no. Cider: Yes… etc.
Bars aren’t allowed to sell pre-mixed drinks, out of their original package
Doubtless, your local bar probably does this, but it’s not legal. A jug of Gin and Tonic, a bucket of Sangria: Illegal. Although it isn’t strictly enforced it is expected that all drinks should be made to order.
Happy hours have strict rules
It is illegal to give away alcohol for free or too cheap, to be specific, alcohol can not be sold at less than half of its normal price. Buy one get on free is ok because both drinks are half price, buy one get five or buy one and get the second for one cent isn’t… because one cent is less than half price. it’s all in the phrasing.
Beer tap handles have to be labeled the brewery and beer name
Most of the upscale bars in the city don’t comply with this… but it IS illegal.
Bars aren’t allowed to take anything valuable from producers
Does your favorite dive bar have a brewery branded refrigerator? Then, it’s probably illegal.
Bars across the street from each other can have different legal closing times.
Even though the city law says bars can be open until 4am, your local bar might have to close at 11 pm. That’s because every new bar is open to recommendations on opening times from the community board they are in, and every community board is different.
BYOB is NOT legal …unless you have a liquor licens
Police DO enforce this, so that’s why you don’t see many places without a license making a lot of noise about BYOB.
Corking fees aren’t law. Retailers DO impose them to make money!
…despite what you may have been told while complaining about it. But retailers have to make a little money, right?
Bar owners can’t be brewers or distributors
A brewery can both produce and distribute its beer, but neither a brewery or a distributor can also be a retailer.
There are only a few exceptions to this rule.