Lancaster County Stops Some Sunday Sales by Making Changes to Alcohol Beverage License Restrictions
South Carolina has observed “blue laws” in some shape or form for decades – laws that prohibit the sale of beer, wine, and spirits on Sunday, restricting retail sales of alcohol even for those who hold an alcohol beverage license. Some counties have made changes to alcohol beverage license restrictions for businesses, including restaurants, bars, grocery and convenience stores, to help generate more revenue for the county and overcome the view that South Carolina is “antiquated.”
However, after passing changes to alcohol beverage licenses in 2012, Lancaster County recently narrowed the law even further, stating that the changes to alcohol beverage licenses and sales on Sundays is applicable only to restaurants that could serve alcohol to patrons. Any business in which the patron does not consume the alcoholic beverage on-site is still restricted by blue laws, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
One company, Southern Spirits, said that the change could result in serious job loss and revenue for Lancaster County, and is a mistake in light of the fact that counties surrounding the Ballantyne area have abolished and/or are seeking to change blue laws.
A press release regarding the alcohol beverage license changes posted on Southern Spirits’ Facebook page states: “The parties that have caused this action have hurt Lancaster County by causing jobs to be lost and County revenue to be reduced by thousands of dollars annually. Surrounding counties will benefit because they can sell beer and wine on Sunday … It is truly unfortunate for Lancaster County to lose the jobs and revenue it has been enjoying from those sales.”
Understanding Blue Laws as Part of the Changes to Alcohol Beverage Licenses in South Carolina
If you plan to open a restaurant, bar, or liquor store, and sell alcohol to the public, you must obtain an alcohol beverage license through the State of South Carolina in order to serve your patrons. While many counties and townships in the state are making changes to alcohol beverage license restrictions, such as the blue laws to allow establishments to serve alcohol on Sundays, it is important for you as the business owner to know the law in your area as you apply for the license.
It is not unusual for your initial application for an alcohol beverage license to be denied, especially if you apply by yourself.The paperwork can be complex and detailed.
Reasons the board might initially deny your application:
- Proximity to a church, school or playground;
- Proximity to a neighborhood;
- An allegation of bad moral character;
- Evidence that the area surrounding the proposed location is already saturated/suitability of location or not a suitable location
If you have any questions, whether it’s about changes to alcohol beverage license restriction or otherwise, it is important to consult a South Carolina alcohol and beverage license attorney for details on South Carolina’s blue laws and other restrictions on selling beer, wine, and spirits.
The Strom Law Firm Can Help You Apply for Your Alcohol Beverage License, and Fight to Keep It
If you have not yet obtained your alcohol beverage license, whether for a one-night charity fundraiser or for the opening of a bar that you will own and run, you should consult the South Carolina alcohol beverage licensing attorneys at the Strom Law Firm for help with the application. If your alcohol beverage license has been revoked, you are within your rights to appeal to get your license back, and the Strom Law Firm can help you defend your case before the board. We offer a free case evaluation to discuss your licensing questions and to see how we can help you, so contact us today. 803.252.4800