Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 3. Alcoholic Beverages
Agency 5. Alcoholic Beverage Control Board
Chapter 50. Retail Operations

3VAC5-50-160. Happy Hour and Related Promotions; Definitions; Exceptions.

A. Definitions The following words and terms when used in this section shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

1. "Happy hour" means a specified period of time during which alcoholic beverages are sold at prices reduced from the customary price established by a retail licensee.

2. "Drink" means any beverage containing the amount of alcoholic beverages customarily served to a patron as a single serving by a retail licensee.

B. No retail licensee shall engage in any of the following practices:

1. Conducting a happy hour between 9 p.m. of each day and 2 a.m. of the following day;

2. Allowing a person to possess more than two drinks at any one time during a happy hour, with the exception of flights of wine and beer consisting of samples of not more than five different wines or beers or samples of five different distilled spirits products provided each distilled spirits sample contains no more than one-half ounce of distilled spirits;

3. Increasing the volume of alcoholic beverages contained in a drink without increasing proportionately the customary or established retail price charged for such drink;

4. Selling two or more drinks for one price, such as "two for one" or "three for one";

5. Selling pitchers of mixed beverages except in accordance with 3VAC5-50-60;

6. Giving away drinks;

7. Selling an unlimited number of drinks for one price, such as "all you can drink for $5.00";

8. Advertising happy hour anywhere other than within the interior of the licensed premises, except that a licensee may use the term "Happy Hour" or "Drink Specials," a list of the alcoholic beverage products featured during a happy hour as well as the time period within which alcoholic beverages are being sold at reduced prices in any otherwise lawful advertisement; or

9. Establishing a customary retail price for any drink at a markup over cost significantly less than that applied to other beverages of similar type, quality, or volume.

C. This regulation shall not apply to prearranged private parties, functions, or events, not open to the public, where the guests thereof are served in a room or rooms designated and used exclusively for private parties, functions or events.

Statutory Authority

§§ 4.1-103 and 4.1-111 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR125-01-5 § 16, eff. December 12, 1985; amended, Volume 04, Issue 06, January 21, 1988; Volume 05, Issue 02, eff. November 24, 1988; Volume 07, Issue 04, eff. December 19, 1990; Volume 08, Issue 06, eff. January 15, 1992; Volume 09, Issue 06, eff. January 13, 1993; Volume 10, Issue 11, eff. March 23, 1994; Volume 30, Issue 09, eff. January 29, 2014; Volume 32, Issue 20, eff. July 15, 2016.

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