|Christian & Small LLP||Birmingham||Alabama|
|Szilagyi & Daly||Hartford||Connecticut|
|Kubasiak, Fylstra, Thorpe & Rotunno, P.C.||Chicago||Illinois|
|Arthur F. Licata, P.C.||Boston||Massachusetts|
|O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.||Minneapolis||Minnesota|
|Iseman, Cunningham, Riester & Hyde, LLP||Albany||New York|
|Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles LLP||Islandia, Long Island||New York|
|Lewis Johs Avallone Aviles LLP||New York||New York|
|Iseman, Cunningham, Riester & Hyde, LLP||Poughkeepsie||New York|
|Teague Campbell Dennis & Gorham, LLP||Raleigh||North Carolina|
|Lane, Alton & Horst LLC||Columbus||Ohio|
|Handley Law Center, The||El Reno||Oklahoma|
|Haglund Kelley Jones & Wilder, LLP||Portland||Oregon|
|O'Meara, Leer, Wagner & Kohl, P.A.||Eau Claire||Wisconsin|
Alcoholic beverage law defines an alcoholic beverage as any consumable drink containing ethyl alcohol. As classified by the Beverage Act, alcoholic beverages are grouped into four main categories, including alcohol, beer, wine, and spirits. The laws associated with alcoholic beverages vary by state.
The regulation of alcohol is generally focused on “intoxicating beverages” with the exact definition of “intoxicating” varying from statute to statute. Many states are lowering the level of legal intoxication from .10 BAC to .08 BAC. In many jurisdictions, it has been held that the list of liquors subject to regulatory or prohibitive enactments, particularly when such a list is followed by an expression akin to “or other intoxicating liquors” must be intoxicating in fact. Many statutes either refer to “intoxicating liquors” generally, or prescribe an alcoholic percentage cut off.
Alcohol sales and consumption is regulated under the “police powers” of the states, but may also be regulated by federal law when such laws do not infringe on the police powers of the states. This means that the Federal government lacks the power to regulate liquor sales by one citizen to another within the territorial limits of a given state, or to regulate liquor-related business within any state. However, the importation and interstate transportation of intoxicating liquors can be regulated by the Federal government under the Commerce Clause — see the Federal Alcohol Administration Act of 1935, 27 USC §§ 201 et seq.. The federal government also has the power to regulate liquor sales in D.C., and where it has exclusive authority such as on government owned military reservations, and with Indian tribes. In all other situations, the states’ police power controls alcoholic beverage law. The federal government has, however, used financial incentives built into its funding of highways to establish a national minimum drinking age. See 23 USC § 158.
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