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  • InsideTrack
  • September 06, 2017

    Avoid Legal Hangovers with Alcohol Beverages Regulation in Wisconsin

    Businesses that produce, transport, and sell alcohol beverages confront a complex cocktail of federal, state, and local regulation. Avoid legal hangovers with Alcohol Beverages Regulation in Wisconsin.
    closeup of cocktail

    Sept. 6, 2017 – The only proven way to stop a hangover is to abstain, but as long as people in Wisconsin choose to drink, it pays for participants in the alcohol beverage industry – and the lawyers who represent them – to keep clear heads about the complex rules and legislation that govern the production, transport, storage, taxation, sale, and purchase of alcohol beverages in our state.

    Current Information, Served Straight Up

    Alcohol Beverages Regulation in Wisconsin, published by State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE®, cuts through the many headaches associated with marketing and selling products containing alcohol. Revised in 2016 by author Aaron Gary, it gives you the most up-to-date information in a thorough, clearly organized presentation.

    Learn the answers to emerging questions you may not have thought to ask:

    • Is kombucha regulated? (And what is kombucha, anyway?)

      Kombucha is a fermented and bottled beverage made from steeped tea and sugar and other flavorings. Because it is fermented, it generally contains a small amount of alcohol. If the alcohol exceeds 0.5-percent ABV, it becomes a regulated alcohol beverage. Section 5.47.

    • What labeling requirements apply to alcohol beverages? Must nutritional facts be provided?

      Chain restaurants must provide calorie counts for alcohol beverages on the menu, but not for nonmenu items ordered from a bartender. As for alcohol beverage container labels under the jurisdiction of the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB), they may contain an optional serving facts panel with accurate nutritional information. Beverages subject to the jurisdiction of the Food and Drug Administration, generally beer made with malted barley or hops and wine under 7-percent ABV, must include a nutrition facts label. Sections 3.130 and 5.102.

    • What level of sobriety is required of bartenders?

      Wisconsin statutes do not prohibit tavern bartenders from imbibing. Look to local ordinances for regulations related to bartender consumption – if any exist. For example, Wausau presumes a bartender is improperly “under the influence” when testing reveals blood alcohol concentration of 0.04-percent ABV or more. Section 3.115.

    These details, new to this edition, add a fresh twist to this comprehensive review of laws and regulations affecting the alcohol industry in Wisconsin.

    Topics covered in the two-volume, 10-chapter treatise include:

    • brewers, wineries, and distilled spirits producers;

    • retailers, wholesalers, out-of-state shippers, and importers;

    • advertising;

    • taxation; and

    • administrative enforcement of state and federal regulations.

    The book contains hundreds of primary and secondary sources and provides links to many of the forms required for operating in the alcohol beverages industry.

    Expert Guidance from a Top-shelf Source

    Aaron Gary is an attorney with the Legislative Reference Bureau and, for more than a decade, has been the drafter of the Wisconsin statutes regulating alcohol beverages. He is the author of Wisconsin Lawyer articles on the Real ID Act, interstate alcohol shipping, and purchasing a liquor store or business with a retail alcohol beverage license.

    How to Order

    Alcohol Beverages Regulation in Wisconsin is available in both print and online via Books UnBound®, the State Bar’s interactive online library. The print book costs $219 for members and $269 for nonmembers. Electronic forms from the book are available online to print book owners and to Books UnBound subscribers.

    Subscribers to the State Bar’s automatic supplementation service will receive future updates at a discount off the regular price. Annual subscriptions to Books UnBound start at $159 per title (single-user price, call for full-library and law-firm pricing).

    For more information, or to place an order, visit the WisBar Marketplace or call the State Bar at (800) 728-7788 or (608) 257-3838.

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