Guidance on NC Curbside Pickup and Home Delivery during COVID-19

We’re getting a lot of questions about specifics of curbside service for alcohol retailers.

Wrong kind of curbside service.
Curbside service sounds better than “bootlegging”

Sale of alcohol for consumption off of the business property is “Off Premise” sales/consumption. To sell beer/wine “to-go” you must have an Off Premise Beer/Wine Retail Permit. If you have an On Premise permit, your On Premise retail permit includes sales for off premise consumption as well. That’s always been the case.

Curbside pickup is a “new” thing. But, the requirements still apply – specifically for underage sales and sales to intoxicated individuals. Both those are still right out.¬†Handing the products to the person curbside – besides the obvious PPE precautions – you and your staff should also be sure to check IDs and the ID should match the credit card (if paying by card) – remember, under 21 can get a CC. And, even if the buyer is over 21, you should not hand the product to <21.

If you’re doing growlers/crowlers there is a distinction to worry about: If the packages are filled “on demand” then you only have to abide by the growler label requirements. If you are pre-filling the product the day before (or whatever), then it’s considered a “final package” and the letter of the law says that every final package must have an approved label registered with the ABC.

  • That being said, I think there’s some room for leniency by the ABC and local law enforcement during this crisis if you’re filling crowlers and growlers the day before (or whatever) and then selling them to drive-up customers) if you don’t have the product label registered.
  • Recall, there is no such thing as a “generic” label – for label registration with ABC, each product must have it’s own registered label.

Also, if you have a beer or wine on premise or off premise retail permit you can offer home delivery of beer and wine as well. The ABC considers the home delivery of alcohol as a “post-sale transaction” – that is, the sale takes place on your premises and your delivery of the product is separately contracted-for service. That means, that the sale including payment (and whether it was to an underage person or intoxicated person) takes place on your premises – so there should be some sort of confidence that this person is at least of age. You cannot collect money at the delivery. Then on delivery we recommend the following best practices:

  • Check ID of who is receiving the products
  • Take a photo of the ID to document who the product was delivered to
  • The ID must match the CC that paid for the product
  • Keep the photos in some system should you need to prove who you gave the delivery to.

Hope that helps. Let us know if you have any questions. And, be safe out there!

Comments

  1. why must i pay a yearly fee for time not allow to use?

    • The issue is that your annual permit fee is for the year’s privilege of an ABC permit. That the state has limited operations doesn’t eliminate or revoke you permit during that time. Additionally, the state has not suspended operations for all ABC permittees, they have merely eliminated on-premise consumption for the time being. If you have an on premise permit, that includes the ability to sell for off premise consumption – which is still allowed during the COVID shutdown. As a result, it is unlikely that the ABC would see this as a time that you are “unable” to use your permit, rather just a limitation on how/when you use your permit. Lastly, the ABC annual fees are set by statute, unfortunately the ABC does not have the authority to waive those fees. Contact your local state senator or representative to encourage them to change the laws/authority of the ABC.

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