Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 9. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES [23000 - 25762]

  ( Division 9 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152. )

CHAPTER 1. General Provisions and Definitions [23000 - 23047]
  ( Chapter 1 added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152. )

23000.
  

This division shall be known and may be cited as the “Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.”

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23001.
  

This division is an exercise of the police powers of the State for the protection of the safety, welfare, health, peace, and morals of the people of the State, to eliminate the evils of unlicensed and unlawful manufacture, selling, and disposing of alcoholic beverages, and to promote temperance in the use and consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is hereby declared that the subject matter of this division involves in the highest degree the economic, social, and moral well-being and the safety of the State and of all its people. All provisions of this division shall be liberally construed for the accomplishment of these purposes.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23001.5.
  

If any provision of this division or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, such invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this division that can be given effect without the invalid portion or application, and to this end the provisions of this division are severable. It is the intent of the Legislature that this division would have been adopted regardless if such invalid provision had not been included or any invalid application had not been made.

(Added by Stats. 2006, Ch. 910, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2007.)

23002.
  

Unless the context otherwise requires, the definitions and general provisions set forth in this chapter govern the construction of this division.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23003.
  

“Alcohol” means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23003.1.
  

“Powdered alcohol” means an alcohol prepared or sold in a powder or crystalline form that is used for human consumption in that form or reconstituted as an alcoholic beverage when mixed with water or any other liquid. “Powdered alcohol” does not include “vaporized alcohol,” as defined in Section 25621.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 742, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2017. See same-numbered section added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 778.)

23003.1.
  

“Powdered alcohol” means an alcohol prepared or sold in a powder or crystalline form that is used for human consumption in that form or reconstituted as an alcoholic beverage when mixed with water or any other liquid. “Powdered alcohol” does not include “vaporized alcohol,” as defined in Section 25621.

(Added by Stats. 2016, Ch. 778, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2017.)

23004.
  

“Alcoholic beverage” includes alcohol, spirits, liquor, wine, beer, and every liquid or solid containing alcohol, spirits, wine, or beer, and which contains one-half of 1 percent or more of alcohol by volume and which is fit for beverage purposes either alone or when diluted, mixed, or combined with other substances. “Alcoholic beverage” does not include “powdered alcohol,” as defined in Section 23003.1.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 778, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 2017.)

23005.
  

“Distilled spirits” means an alcoholic beverage obtained by the distillation of fermented agricultural products, and includes alcohol for beverage use, spirits of wine, whiskey, rum, brandy, and gin, including all dilutions and mixtures thereof. “Distilled spirits” does not include “powdered alcohol,” as defined in Section 23003.1.

(Amended by Stats. 2016, Ch. 778, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2017.)

23006.
  

“Beer” means any alcoholic beverage obtained by the fermentation of any infusion or decoction of barley, malt, hops, or any other similar product, or any combination thereof in water, and includes ale, porter, brown, stout, lager beer, small beer, and strong beer, but does not include sake, known as Japanese rice wine. Beer aged in an empty wooden barrel previously used to contain wine or distilled spirits shall be defined exclusively as “beer” and shall not be considered a dilution or mixture of any other alcoholic beverage.

(Amended by Stats. 2012, Ch. 96, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2013.)

23007.
  

“Wine” means the product obtained from normal alcoholic fermentation of the juice of sound ripe grapes or other agricultural products containing natural or added sugar or any such alcoholic beverage to which is added grape brandy, fruit brandy, or spirits of wine, which is distilled from the particular agricultural product or products of which the wine is made and other rectified wine products and by whatever name and which does not contain more than 15 percent added flavoring, coloring, and blending material and which contains not more than 24 percent of alcohol by volume, and includes vermouth and sake, known as Japanese rice wine.

Nothing contained in this section affects or limits the power, authority, or duty of the State Department of Health Services in the enforcement of the laws directed toward preventing the manufacture, production, sale, or transportation of adulterated, misbranded, or mislabeled alcoholic beverages, and the definition of “wine” contained in this section is limited strictly to the purposes of this division and does not extend to, or repeal by implication, any law preventing the production, manufacture, sale, or transportation of adulterated, misbranded, or mislabeled alcoholic beverages.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 429.)

23008.
  

“Person” includes any individual, firm, copartnership, joint adventure, association, corporation, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, syndicate, or any other group or combination acting as a unit, and the plural as well as the singular number.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23009.
  

“Licensee” means any person holding a license, a permit, a certification, or any other authorization issued by the department.

(Amended by Stats. 2004, Ch. 437, Sec. 1. Effective September 9, 2004.)

23010.
  

“Taxpayer” means a person liable for the payment of a tax pursuant to Part 14 of Division 2 of the Revenue and Taxation Code.

(Amended by Stats. 1955, Ch. 1842.)

23011.
  

“Salesman” means any individual who solicits or receives an order for alcoholic beverages from any licensee.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23012.
  

“Beer manufacturer” means any person that has facilities and equipment for the purposes of, and is engaged in, the commercial manufacture of beer.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 686, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)

23013.
  

“Winegrower” means any person who has facilities and equipment for the conversion of grapes, berries, or other fruit into wine and is engaged in the production of wine.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 28, Sec. 1. Effective June 6, 2008.)

23013.5.
  

A “wine blender” is a person authorized to operate a bonded wine cellar pursuant to a permit issued for that purpose under the Internal Revenue Laws of the United States but who does not have facilities or equipment for the conversion of grapes, berries or other fruit into wine and does not engage in the production of wine in commercial quantities, provided that any person who produces or blends not to exceed 200 gallons of wine per year shall not, because of such production or blending, be considered a wine blender within the meaning of this division.

(Added by Stats. 1965, Ch. 499.)

23014.
  

“Brandy manufacturer” means any person engaged in the manufacture of brandy only and not in the manufacture of any other distilled spirits.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23015.
  

“Distilled spirits manufacturer” means any person who produces distilled spirits from naturally fermented materials or in any other manner. “Distilled spirits manufacturer” shall not include a winegrower that produces spirits of wine, provided the spirits of wine are blended into wine produced by the winegrower, are sold to an industrial alcohol dealer, or are destroyed by the winegrower.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 129, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2011.)

23016.
  

“Rectifier” means every person who colors, flavors, or otherwise processes distilled spirits by distillation, blending, percolating, or other processes. “Rectifier” does not include an on-sale licensee that colors, flavors, or blends distilled spirits or wine products on the on-sale licensed premises to be consumed on the licensed premises.

(Amended by Stats. 2011, Ch. 301, Sec. 1. Effective September 21, 2011.)

23017.
  

“Importer” means:

(a) Any consignee of alcoholic beverages brought into this State from without this State, when the alcoholic beverages are for delivery or use within this State.

(b) Any person, except a public warehouse licensed under this division, to whom delivery is first made in this State of alcoholic beverages brought into this State from without this State for delivery or use within this State.

(c) Any person, licensed as an importer, selling alcoholic beverages to nonlicensees within an area over which the United States Government exercises jurisdiction, when delivery of the alcoholic beverages is made to the nonlicensees by a common carrier transporting the alcoholic beverages from a point outside this State.

(d) Any person bringing alcoholic beverages into this State from without this State which are not consigned to any person and which are for delivery or use within this State.

A person licensed as a customs broker who is acting as an agent for a licensed importer or for another person whose place of business is without the State shall not be deemed to be the importer of alcoholic beverages consigned in United States internal revenue bond or in United States customs bond to the licensed customs broker.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23018.
  

“Exporter” means any person who sells, delivers, or consigns alcoholic beverages located within this State for delivery, use, or sale without the State.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23019.
  

“Customs broker” means every person who is authorized to act as agent or broker for a person licensed as an importer or for a person whose place of business is without the State, in regard to the importing of alcoholic beverages into the State in United States internal revenue bond or in United States customs bond.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23020.
  

“Wine broker” means every person, other than a salesman who is regularly employed by a licensee, who engages as an agent in the sale or purchase of wine for or on behalf of another or others for a fee or commission.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23021.
  

“Wholesaler” means every person other than a manufacturer, winegrower or rectifier who is engaged in business as a jobber or wholesale merchant, dealing in alcoholic beverages, in an area within the United States other than a territory or possession of the United States, or within a foreign country having common boundaries with any state of the United States.

(Amended by Stats. 1975, Ch. 597.)

23022.
  

“Industrial alcohol dealer” means a person who sells alcohol or distilled spirits in packages of more than one gallon for use in the trades, professions, or industries, but not for beverage use.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23023.
  

“Retailer” means any on- or off-sale licensee.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23024.
  

“Retailer’s on-sale license” means on-sale beer licenses, on-sale beer and wine licenses, on-sale general licenses, and on-sale general licenses for seasonal businesses.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23025.
  

“Sell” or “sale” and “to sell” includes any transaction whereby, for any consideration, title to alcoholic beverages is transferred from one person to another, and includes the delivery of alcoholic beverages pursuant to an order placed for the purchase of such beverages and soliciting or receiving an order for such beverages, but does not include the return of alcoholic beverages by a licensee to the licensee from whom such beverages were purchased.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23026.
  

“Retail sale” or “sale at retail” means the sale by an on- or off-sale licensee for consumption and not for resale.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23027.
  

“Wholesale sale” or “sale at wholesale” means a sale to any licensee for purposes of resale.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23028.
  

“Package” means any container or receptacle used for holding alcoholic beverages which is corked or sealed with a stub, stopper, cap, or in any other manner.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23029.
  

“Case” or “original case” means a standard box or carton as packed by the manufacturer or wine grower in which packages of alcoholic beverages are shipped or transferred.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23030.
  

“To bottle” or “to package” means to bottle, barrel, or otherwise place alcoholic beverages in a container.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23031.
  

“Gallon” or “wine gallon” means that liquid measure containing 231 cubic inches.

(Added by Stats. 1953. Ch. 152.)

23032.
  

“Proof spirits” means that alcoholic liquor which contains one-half of its volume of pure ethyl alcohol of a specific gravity of 0.7939 at 60 degrees Fahrenheit, referred to water at 60 degrees Fahrenheit as unity.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23033.
  

“Proof gallon” means a gallon of proof spirits or an equivalent amount of alcohol.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23034.
  

“Still” means any apparatus capable of being used for separating alcohol, or alcoholic vapors of solutions from alcohol or alcoholic solutions or mixtures, but does not include stills or apparatus used for laboratory purposes or solely in the production of distilled water or substances other than alcoholic beverages.

(Amended by Stats. 1959, Ch. 547.)

23035.
  

“Private warehouse” means any place maintained by a licensee, other than his licensed premises, for the storage but not for the sale of alcohol or alcoholic beverages owned by the licensee.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23036.
  

“Public warehouse” means any place licensed for the storage of, but not the sale of, alcohol or alcoholic beverages for the account of other licensees and includes United States custom bonded warehouses and United States internal revenue bonded warehouses when the bonded warehouses are used for storage of alcoholic beverages for the account of another licensee.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23037.
  

“Club” means a corporation or association which is the owner, lessee, or occupant of an establishment operated solely for objects of a social or athletic nature but not for pecuniary gain, having a bona fide membership list, and the majority of the members of which pay dues at least once in every year, and the property as well as the advantages of which belong to the members, and which sells alcoholic beverages only to its members and its bona fide guests. A guest is defined as a person who is actually a houseguest, or a person whose presence as a guest is in response to a specific invitation for the special occasion.

(Amended by Stats. 1957, Ch. 618.)

23038.
  

“Bona fide public eating place” means a place which is regularly and in a bona fide manner used and kept open for the serving of meals to guests for compensation and which has suitable kitchen facilities connected therewith, containing conveniences for cooking an assortment of foods which may be required for ordinary meals, the kitchen of which must be kept in a sanitary condition with the proper amount of refrigeration for keeping of food on said premises and must comply with all the regulations of the local department of health. “Meals” means the usual assortment of foods commonly ordered at various hours of the day; the service of such food and victuals only as sandwiches or salads shall not be deemed a compliance with this requirement. “Guests” shall mean persons who, during the hours when meals are regularly served therein, come to a bona fide public eating place for the purpose of obtaining, and actually order and obtain at such time, in good faith, a meal therein. Nothing in this section, however, shall be construed to require that any food be sold or purchased with any beverage.

(Amended by Stats. 1955, Ch. 1779.)

23038.1.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 23038, “bona fide public eating place” also means a convention center, exhibit hall, or auditorium, which shall hereinafter be referred to as “premises,” owned by or leased to the State of California, any incorporated city, county, city and county, or public corporation of the State of California which is regularly and in a bona fide manner used and kept open for the attendance of groups of guests, and in connection with such use serves meals to such groups of guests for compensation, and which has suitable kitchen facilities in connection therewith, such kitchen containing conveniences for preparation of ordinary meals and maintained in a sanitary condition with proper refrigeration for the keeping of food on the premises in compliance with all regulations of the local department of health.

“Meals,” as used in this section, means foods commonly ordered at a lunch or dinner; provided, however, that the service of food such as sandwiches or salads only shall not be deemed compliance with this requirement.

“Groups of guests,” as used in this section, means persons who come to the premises owned or leased as provided herein, to make use of such premises for the purpose or purposes for which it was designed, and in connection with such use may, as a group, order in advance and obtain or be served a meal therein.

“Convention center” as used in this section, means a building or group of buildings in close physical proximity consisting of, but not necessarily limited to, a convention hall, exhibit hall, auditorium, or theater, or any combination thereof, and used for the purpose, among other things, of providing facilities for conventions, theatrical productions, shows, sporting centers, exhibits, displays, conferences or meetings.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that meals be served every day that use is made of the premises or any part thereof. However, meals shall actually be available to groups of guests in good faith upon adequate notice and request to the operators of such premises on any day of any year that such premises are used by such groups of guests, and shall be served to groups of guests as heretofore provided on at least 25 percent of the total days each year that the premises are used by said groups of guests.

Nothing in this section shall be construed to require that any food be sold or purchased with any alcoholic beverage.

(Added by Stats. 1968, Ch. 860.)

23038.2.
  

Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 23038, for purposes of issuing an on-sale beer and wine license only, “bona fide public eating place” also means a ball park, stadium, or coliseum featuring professional sporting events which maintains suitable kitchen facilities for the preparation of food which is offered for sale to persons attending such professional sporting events.

The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control may prescribe specific types and sizes of beer and wine containers which may be sold pursuant to the provisions of this section.

(Amended by Stats. 1978, Ch. 270.)

23038.3.
  

Notwithstanding Section 23038, for purposes of issuing an on-sale beer and wine license only, “bona fide public eating place” also means a cooking school that regularly and in a bona fide manner provides courses of instruction in the preparation of food, and that maintains suitable kitchen facilities for the preparation of food that is offered to persons attending the courses of instruction.

(Added by Stats. 2011, Ch. 702, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2012.)

23039.
  

(a) “Public premises” means:

(1) Premises licensed with any type of license other than an on-sale beer license, and maintained and operated for the selling or serving of alcoholic beverages to the public for consumption on the premises, and in which food shall not be sold or served to the public as in a bona fide public eating place, but upon which premises food products may be sold or served incidentally to the sale or service of alcoholic beverages, in accordance with rules prescribed by the department.

(2) Premises licensed with an on-sale beer license, in which food shall not be sold or served to the public as in a bona fide public eating place, and in which sandwiches, salads, desserts, and similar short orders shall not be sold and served, in accordance with rules prescribed by the department.

(b) “Public premises” does not include railroad dining or club cars, passenger ships, airplanes, or bona fide clubs after the clubs have been lawfully operated for not less than one year; nor does it include historic units of the state park system, premises being operated under a temporary on-sale beer license other than permitted pursuant to Section 24045.5, or on-sale beer licensed stadia, auditoria, fairgrounds, or racetracks; nor does it include nonprofit theater companies licensed pursuant to Section 24045.7; nor does it include theaters licensed pursuant to Section 24045.75; nor does it include winegrowers’ premises.

(Amended by Stats. 2013, Ch. 235, Sec. 1. Effective January 1, 2014.)

23039.1.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any on-sale beer and wine public premises licensee who has been licensed at premises operated as a cabaret theater for at least 10 years and which has a seating capacity for at least 375 patrons may admit persons under the age of 21 years to theater performances provided that alcoholic beverages are not sold, served, or consumed on the premises during those performances.

(Amended by Stats. 2008, Ch. 18, Sec. 1. Effective June 2, 2008.)

23040.
  

“Within this State” means all territory within the boundaries of this State.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23041.
  

“Without the State” means all territory without the boundaries of this State.

(Added by Stats. 1953, Ch. 152.)

23042.
  

“Board” means the State Board of Equalization, in the exercise of the powers and duties with respect to excise taxes reserved to it by Section 22 of Article XX of the Constitution.

(Amended by Stats. 1955, Ch. 447.)

23043.
  

“Department” means the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, and “director” means the Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

(Amended by Stats. 1955, Ch. 447.)

23044.
  

“License” means a license authorized to be issued by the department pursuant to this division.

(Amended by Stats. 1955, Ch. 447.)

23045.
  

“Appeals board” means the Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board.

(Added by Stats. 1955, Ch. 447.)

23046.
  

“Air common carrier” means a person engaged in regularly scheduled air transportation between fixed termini under a certificate of public convenience and necessity issued by the Civil Aeronautics Board, or its successor, or the Public Utilities Commission, or its successor, and “airplane” or “common carrier airplane” means an airplane operated in air transportation by an air common carrier.

(Amended by Stats. 1968, Ch. 607.)

23047.
  

“Scheduled flight” means a regularly scheduled and advertised flight of an air common carrier but does not mean each daily operation of airplanes upon such flight.

(Added by renumbering Section 23046 by Stats. 1957, Ch. 37.)

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