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NO. 163. AN ACT RELATING TO MINORS AND ALCOHOL.

(H.861)

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1. 7 V.S.A. § 658 is amended to read:

§ 658. SALE OR FURNISHING TO MINORS; ENABLING CONSUMPTION BY MINORS; MINORS CAUSING DEATH OR SERIOUS BODILY INJURY

(a) *[A]* No person*[, licensee or otherwise,]* shall *[not]*:

(1) sell or furnish malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors to a person under the age of 21; or

(2) knowingly enable the consumption of malt or vinous beverages or spirituous liquors by a person under the age of 21.

* * *

(c) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be fined not less than $500.00 nor more than $2,000.00 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. However, an employee of a second class licensee, who in the course of employment violates subdivision (a)(1) of this section during a compliance check conducted by a law enforcement officer as defined in 20 V.S.A. § 2358:

(1) shall be assessed a civil penalty of not more than $100.00 for the first violation, and a civil penalty of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00 for a second violation that occurs more than one year after the first violation.

(2) shall be subject to the criminal penalties provided in this subsection for a second violation within a year of the first violation, and for a third or subsequent violation within three years of the first violation.

(3) may plead as an affirmative defense that:

(A) the purchaser exhibited and the employee carefully viewed

photographic identification that complied with section 602 of this title and

indicated the purchaser to be 21 or older; and

(B) an ordinary prudent person would believe the purchaser to be of legal age to make the purchase; and

(C) the sale was made in good faith, based upon the reasonable belief that the purchaser was of legal age to purchase alcoholic beverages.

* * *

Sec. 1a. 4 V.S.A. § 1102 (b) is amended to read:

(b) The bureau shall have jurisdiction of the following matters:

* * *

(7) violations under 7 V.S.A. § 658(c)(1), relating to an employee of a second class licensee selling alcohol to a minor during a compliance check.

* * *

Sec. 2a. 7 V.S.A. § 66 is added to read:

§ 66. SHIPPING PERMIT; VINOUS BEVERAGES; DELIVERY

REQUIREMENTS

(a) The department may grant a shipping permit to a second class licensee, provided that vinous beverages are the only alcoholic beverages sold by the licensee, to a fourth class licensee or to a holder of a license to manufacture or rectify vinous beverages, provided the licensee annually files an application in a form required by the department accompanied by an annual fee of $200.00.

(1) A holder of a fourth class license or a license to manufacture or rectify vinous beverages granted a shipping permit under this section may deliver to an individual purchaser for personal consumption no more than one case of no more than 12 bottles of vinous beverages per shipment or effect delivery of that amount of vinous beverages by a common carrier, as defined in 5 V.S.A. § 1821, that delivers primarily freight or express.

(2) A holder of a second class license granted a shipping permit under this section may effect delivery of vinous beverages only by common carrier as required by this section.

(b) Vinous beverages shall be delivered pursuant to an invoice that includes the name of the licensee and the name and address of the purchaser. The vinous beverages shall be delivered only to the address on the invoice and only to an individual who is age 21 or over. The licensee shall file a copy of the invoice with the department prior to shipping and shall retain a copy of the invoice for two years.

(c) A licensed manufacturer or rectifier holding a shipping permit shall pay directly to the commissioner of taxes the tax on vinous beverages as required by subsection 421(a) of this title, shipped pursuant to this section.

(d) A holder of a shipping permit under this section shall not deliver or have delivered any vinous beverages to any person under the age of 21.

(e) A common carrier shall not deliver vinous beverages until it has complied with the provisions of subsections 239(a) and (b) of this title, and its compliance has been certified by the department of liquor control. No employee of a common carrier shall deliver vinous beverages until that employee completes the training required by subsection 239(c) of this title.

(f) For any violation of this section, the board of liquor control shall have the power to suspend or revoke a certification or permit issued under this section.

Sec. 3. 23 V.S.A. § 610 is amended to read:

§ 610. LICENSE CERTIFICATES

(a) The commissioner shall assign a distinguishing number to each licensee and shall furnish *[him or her]* the licensee with a license certificate, showing the number, *[his or her]* the licensee’s mailing address and *[with]* a space for the signature of the licensee *[for the purposes of identification]*. The license shall be void until *[the signature of]* signed by the licensee *[is affixed to it]*.

(b) A motor vehicle operator’s license issued to an individual who is under the age of 18 shall be distinguishable by color from a motor vehicle operator’s license issued to an individual who is over the age of 18 but under the age of 21, and both cards shall be distinguishable by color from a motor vehicle operator’s license issued to an individual 21 or older. A motor vehicle operator’s license issued to an individual under the age of 21 shall clearly indicate, in prominent type, the date on which the individual will become 21. The distinguishing colors shall be the same as those used to distinguish identification cards issued under section 115 of this title.

(c) Upon request, a license certificate shall be issued with the photograph of the licensee included on the certificate. The commissioner shall determine the fee for the photographic license and locations where photographic licenses may be issued. A photographic motor vehicle operator’s license issued under this subsection to an individual under the age of 30 shall include a magnetic strip that includes only the name, date of birth, height and weight of the licensee.

Sec. 4. 23 V.S.A. § 115(h) and (i) are added to read:

(h) An identification card issued to an individual who is under the age of 18 shall be distinguishable by color from an identification card issued to an individual who is over the age of 18 but under the age of 21, and both cards shall be distinguishable by color from an identification card issued to an individual over the age of 21. An identification card issued to an individual under the age of 21 shall clearly indicate, in prominent type, the date on which the individual will become 21. The distinguishing colors shall be the same as those used to distinguish operator’s licenses issued under section 610 of this title.

(i) A photographic identification card issued under this section to an individual under the age of 30 shall include a magnetic strip that includes only the name, date of birth, height and weight of the individual identified on the card.

Sec. 5. DESIGN OF IDENTIFICATION CARDS; REDUCTION OF

UNDERAGE ALCOHOL PURCHASE

The commissioner of liquor control in cooperation with the commissioner of motor vehicles shall review methods, designs, and approaches used successfully by other jurisdictions that accurately identify purchasers of alcoholic beverages and that have effected a decrease of underage purchasers of alcoholic beverages. The commissioners shall report their findings and recommendations in writing to the General Assembly on or before January 15, 2001.

Sec. 6. ALCOHOL SERVICE AND SALES TRAINING PROGRAM;

VOLUNTARY PROGRAM; REPORT

The Department of Liquor Control shall issue a written report to the General Assembly before January 1, 2001, that includes the following:

(1) An evaluation of its current alcohol education programs for licensees and their employees and, in consultation with other jurisdictions, recommendations which may include improvement and expansion of the program to enhance the program’s efficiency and effectiveness, and additional training requirements for licensees and their employees who have one or more violations relating to service or sales to minors or intoxicated persons.

(2) Proposals, including estimated costs and funding options, for a voluntary program for retail licensees designed to help licensees and their employees minimize the risk and frequency of selling or providing alcoholic beverages to minors. The program may include self-testing and licensee-requested inspections with no penalty for noncompliance discovered during inspections.

(3) An evaluation and analysis of the impact on the effort to decrease sales of alcohol to minors of the following:

(A) The changes made in Sec. 1 of this act.

(B) A mandatory minimum one-day suspension of the license issued under Title 7 for a violation of 7 V.S.A. § 658 by a licensee’s employee during employment.

Sec. 7. REPEAL

23 V.S.A. §§ 610a, color of license certificates, and 610b, photograph on license, are repealed.

Sec. 8. 7 V.S.A. 239(c) is amended to read:

(c) *[It shall be the responsibility of each licensee to]* Each licensee shall ensure that every employee who is involved in the sale or serving of alcohol beverages completes a training program approved by the department of liquor control before the employee begins serving or selling alcoholic beverages and at least once every 24 months thereafter. Each licensee shall maintain written documentation, signed by each employee trained, of each training program conducted. A licensee may comply with this requirement by conducting its own training program on its premises, using information and materials furnished by the department of liquor control. A licensee who fails to comply with the requirements of this subsection shall be subject to a suspension of no less than one day of the license issued under this title.

Approved: June 6, 2000