Monday, April 27, 2015

Introducing alcohol in supermarkets seems to increase theft risks

Florida’s legislation does not allow selling liquor in local stores and supermarket, unless these have a partition wall and a separate entrance, but things are likely to change. This is due to a recent regulation proposed by some officials, according to which selling alcohol in ordinary stores will become legit. This hypothesis has led to a lot of controversies, because on the one hand some people are happy about it, while on the other, some claim that this will be the start off of many unpleasant situations. The main concern is represented by the risk children will be subjected to, especially during holidays and vacations. For many people, introducing this new law means children will have easy access to liquor, which may lead to various social issues. In addition to this, liquor store owners have declared that they are worried about their businesses, since allowing supermarkets to sell alcoholic beverages will make them irrelevant. Besides diminishing their profits or even closing their business, they say that this regulation will also jeopardise the jobs of their employees. However, there is another popular concern most people tend to neglect: the increasing risk of thefts and criminal activity. Selling alcoholic drinks elsewhere than restaurants or specialized liquor stores represents a financial benefit for retailers, but it also exposes them to frauds and makes them prone to thefts. This is not only a faraway hypothesis; it is based on actual feats, if we take into consideration the police reports from the past few months, which clearly state that it has been noticed a growing trend of liquor thefts. The trend is compared to an epidemic, because it is constantly spreading from one city to the other. Representatives of official institutions declared that lately, shoplifters have become bolder and more violent with security officers, and this seems to be somehow related to alcohol and drug consumption. The easy access to these substances grown the risk of outlaw acts, and introducing alcoholic beverages in supermarkets seems to encourage this. If this law will be accepted and takes effect, law enforcement officials will be obliged to take extra safety measures, to avoid children or criminals to procure alcohol. Official reports show that thefts and attacks are occurring daily in every city, almost at each grocery store. Furthermore, it seems that in some areas, there are actually specialized groups stealing alcohol, and introducing it as ordinary merchandise in supermarkets and local stores makes these prone to criminal activity. For this reason, since it has been announced that this new regulation is likely to be introduced, authorities in charge with citizens’ security have begun to move faster in order to eliminate potential risks. Learning about this increasing danger, those who already had complaints against the law regarding alcohol sales have become even fiercer, using this as a pertinent argument against it. However, the controversy continues and there are many differences of opinion, but since there are many restrictive laws related to alcohol production, distribution and consumption, this regulation is likely to be accepted. 239-205-4770

Friday, April 24, 2015

Liquor law - a danger for public health

Liquor law - a danger for public health 239-205-4770 Recently, there have been rumours about potential changes in Florida’s law related to liquor selling license. The news according to which local stores or supermarkets will be allowed by law to sell alcoholic beverages has created a huge fuss, attracting a lot of complaints not only from individuals but also from various organizations. It seems that most people would prefer that the law remains unchanged, due to its multiple negative effects on society. At the moment, ordinary stores are allowed to sell liquor only if they have a special area dedicated to this and also a separate entrance, which is aimed to limit minors’ access to alcohol. This is likely to change if the law takes effect, and people will be able to go to the supermarket to buy foods, domestic products and a bottle of vodka, without having to go to a special partition dedicated to this type of merchandise. Nowadays, the presence of a child in a liquor store is suspicious for the vendor and the other buyers, and this is discouraging for minors who may be willing to buy alcohol. This is the main reason for which separate locations represent the easiest manner to keep children away from alcohol. For financial reasons, some large retailers have complained for years about their inability to sell liquor, while under this new senate bill, they will be able to offer alcoholic drinks to their clients, as same as any other products. This is beneficial to them, because it will increase their profits considerably, while different NGOs and other official institutions are concerned that children under the age of 21 will have easy access to alcohol, as if it was a common non-addictive product. In addition to this, the current law forbids youngsters under the age of 21 to work as vendors in places where liquor is sold, while this new regulation’s amendments will allow underage employees to have easy access to alcoholic drinks. This represents a string contra argument for the opponents, especially in the context where regulations and underage sales are remotely applied and checked. The changes related to liquor law are considered unnecessary by some people, taking into consideration that the existing regulations work and are known by everyone. Furthermore, these are also supporting the sustainable balance as far as costs are concerned: the prices are not too low (this would streamline consumption) nor too high (which would push frauds or thefts). As beneficial as introducing alcohol in supermarkets would be for retailers and local businesses, the main concern of authorities must be the health and security of the citizens. For this reason, in case the legal proposal will be accepted and takes effect, there should be taken additional safety measures. On the other hand, the state law of Florida has multiple restrictions regarding alcohol production, distribution and consumption, which is why there are many people who consider that some freedom is not a bad thing. However, the topic is still debated and there are many pros and cons for both sizes of the matter. 239-205-4770

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sell liquor in Florida in compliance with the law

If you own a restaurant or a bar, the normal thing to do is sell beverages, including alcohol, because this will bring a lot of profit to your business. Selling liquor and beer in your restaurant is way easier than preparing and serving food, which is why it also has lower labor costs. However, this comes with some strings attached and a lot of responsibilities, because the state of Florida has clear regulations related to this activity. The laws have been created because it is not normal that everyone can sell and buy alcoholic beverages, which is why those who want to be in accordance to the law must have a liquor license. In order to obtain the authorization, restaurants and businesses have to apply for it and fulfill some criteria established by competent authorities. The laws which regulate alcohol selling are different from one state or city to the other, but there are some topics related to which laws are the same in all states, including Florida. Among these, some of the most relevant are: the moment and the place where liquor can be served, the containers in which it is served, the quantity and price and people to who liquor can be served. The state laws also vary depending on the type of business you own, because there are restaurants, bars, pubs and so on. Some bars and restaurants are not allowed to offer discounts (such as “happy hours” or “two-for-one”) on beverages and they are obliged to sell only one drink per customer at a time. In addition to this, there are strict rules related to the bottles whose content has not been consumed completely: these cannot be taken home. The main reason for this is avoiding alcohol consumption in public places. Furthermore, beer and liquor must not be sold on Election Day – this is aimed to avoid incidents or alter citizens’ voting and decisional capacity. If a restaurant or bar does not have a special and legit license, wholesale retailors are forbidden to sell them any alcoholic beverage and insurance companies will not cover any claims liquor related. As far as the consumers are concerned, the law in Florida states that the legal drinking age is the same as the one in the national law, which is 21. On the other hand, bartenders in Florida must be 18 years old in order to work in a place where liquor is sold, according to the law. So if you own a restaurant where you sell alcoholic beverages, you can hire staff members under 21, as long as they have reached the age of 18. Of course, this is possible only if they will not consume the alcohol. All in all, before opening a business in Florida, the best thing you could do is inform yourself about the state law, in order to avoid legal issues. These are likely to appear, taking into consideration that there are some relevant points which may vary as compared to the national law. 239-205-4770

Monday, April 13, 2015

Selling liquor in grocery stores – a controversial topic

Selling alcoholic beverages in the United States is a topic that has been discussed for a long time, and while some consider that laws should loosen up, others think that liquor regulations must be as strict as they can get. Recently, some competent authorities have proposed a new legislation, according to which people will be able to buy a bottle of their favorite alcoholic drink directly from supermarkets or local stores. A routine trip to the corner store will allow buyers to purchase ordinary products such as bread, chocolate, diapers or a bottle of vodka, according to these recent regulations. However, the news of supermarkets selling liquor has lead to a lot of fuss and negative reactions, because some people consider this worrying. These are the opponents, who are claiming that introducing this law would affect economy and children’s safety, since they will have easy access to alcohol. While Florida’s regulations allow beer or wine to be sold in supermarkets, in a special area (similar to an integrated liquor store), the hard stuff is forbidden. As soon as the legislation will be approved and introduced, famous stores will be allowed to add some ails, in order to display the booze next to their other products. At the moment, big stores that have a legit license can sell liquor, with the condition of having arranged a different entrance for customers, but this seems to be prone to changes. The owners of these stores consider this partition unnecessary, because it is not normal to have two different locations and doors under the same roof. For this reason, they consider this new regulation not only useful, but rather outdated – they say it should have been introduced years ago. These are the people who are pleased with it, because it will increase their profits and will make their customers happier, saving them time and effort. On the other hand, those who own specialized liquor stores are somehow concerned about their businesses, since the law will diminish their relevance. Even if those who agree with the new legislation say that it will not oblige anybody to change their business model, a local store owner has recently declared that he is worried not only about its own profits but also about his employees, who are likely to lose their jobs once the law is accepted by official authorities. However, the main concern is related to minors. As same as the national law, the law in Florida states that the legal age for alcohol consumption is 21, while those who have reached the age of 18 can work in places where alcohol is sold, as long as they do not consume it. Officials from Alcoholic Beverage and Tobacco Control have expressed their dissatisfaction related to this matter, since children will be exposed to various risks, especially during holidays and vacations. In Florida, there is a spring break culture, which is why selling alcohol in ordinary stores is an issue even more serious than in other US states. The topic is still controversial, and everybody is waiting for authorities to make a final decision.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The 64-oz. beer growler may finally be allowed by the Florida Legislature

The fact that brewpubs in Florida cannot sell a regular growler of beer is no secret to anybody. Florida’s alcohol-container laws have long been disputed by everyone in the industry and occasionally customers who wanted to enjoy a 64 oz. growler of beer, but were prevented by the laws of this state. This is the measure that has become the standard size for any brewer, which is why many people consider the law that prohibits the sale quite ridiculous. In fact, this refusal to allow 64 oz. growlers is often the punch line of many jokes and some brewers actually offered to sell two 32 oz. growlers together, just to demonstrate the pointlessness of this law. Fortunately for them, the Legislature is just one vote away from finally legalizing these growlers along with many other changes in the Florida alcohol industry. With the Senate already having passed Bill 186 with a unanimous vote, the House is expected to take measure in the following days and offer the results to what many people from this field have worked on for over 4 years. There are many ambiguities in the current law that should be resolved with the passing of this new Bill, and the freeing of the 64 ounce growler is definitely one of the most important ones. The law that prohibits the selling of standard sized growlers in the state of Florida has often been considered one of America’s dumbest laws and has been the subject of several debates over the years. In fact, the system requires three tiers for alcoholic beverages and those who are involved in the system can only be part of one of the three tiers: manufacture, distribution or vending. Breweries can only sell their product to distributors, but not on site, except for those who have special tasting rooms, which are meant to encourage tourism in the area. At the same time, brewpubs cannot sell beer for retail purposes or to go and the growlers are not exactly convenient for most people. This entire system has a faulty design and this Bill means to put an end to at least some of these problems. In fact, Senate Bill 186 will allow brewers that have a valid license have up to eight tasting rooms as well as allow distilleries such as the ones in Fernandina Beach to sell four bottles a year to their customers as opposed to the two they are allowed to sell today. This law should make the industry more valuable and enable breweries to expand and develop. It should also put an end to all the jokes that have been made over the Florida liquor license law and finally allow the selling of 64 ounce beer growlers to become reality. This new law has been a subject of debate for many years and it has been long awaited by those who operate in Florida’s beer industry as well as regular consumers who often joker about the 32 ounce sizes as being medicine bottles and it may finally satisfy beer lovers from all over Florida.