Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 3. Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Control

3VAC5. Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority




The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is authorized to license distilleries, wineries, farm wineries, breweries, and bottlers of alcoholic beverages; wholesalers, wholesale salesmen and retailers of wine and beer; beer and wine importers; and certain warehouses. The board may also issue a variety of permits for purchase, storage, and transportation of alcoholic beverages for particular purposes, such as sacramental, hospital, industrial, and culinary uses, or for particular situations. For the sale of mixed beverages it may license restaurants, caterers, clubs, carriers, and amphitheaters and issue special events licenses to nonprofit organizations and club events licenses to clubs. With some exceptions, these licensees are required to purchase alcoholic beverages from the board. Code of Virginia, Title 4.1, Chapters 1, 2 and 3. It may also license and make regulations governing the sale of mixed beverages on certain federal lands in the Commonwealth. Code of Virginia, Title 7.1, Chapter 3.

The board is required to collect the license taxes imposed by law for the various licenses and taxes on alcoholic beverages sold by or through it. It is authorized to make regulations to prevent illegal manufacture, bottling, distribution, sale and transportation of alcoholic beverages; to regulate the sale of alcoholic beverages in kegs; to govern labeling, containers, and advertising and other practices of licensees; to prescribe hours of sale for retail licensees (subject to local Sunday ordinances) and to otherwise carry out the alcoholic beverage control laws. It may inspect premises and records, require reports and issue subpoenas, and its special agents have the power of arrest. It may impose monetary penalties or require payment of costs of investigation and disciplinary proceedings in lieu of suspension. Special agents of the board may inspect all invoices, books, papers or other memoranda and records concerning the sale of cigarettes maintained by wholesale cigarette dealers. Code of Virginia, Title 4.1, Chapters 1 and 2.

The Wine and Beer Franchise Acts authorize the agency to determine the propriety of amendment, termination or nonrenewal of agreements when controversies arise between wineries, breweries or beer or wine importers on the one hand and wholesalers on the other. Code of Virginia, Title 4.1, Chapters 4 and 5. The board is authorized to adopt regulations governing the sale and delivery or shipment of beer and wine by importers who are not the brand owners. Code of Virginia, Title 4.1, Chapter 1.

The board is also authorized to operate stores for package sale of alcoholic beverages other than beer. It is authorized to make regulations fixing prices and governing operation of the stores. The board may adopt regulations that provide for accepting credit or debit cards as payment for the purchase of alcoholic beverages at government stores. Code of Virginia, Title 4.1, Chapter 1.

Most retail sale of mixed beverages is subject to local option. Code of Virginia, Title 4.1, Chapter 1.

The board directly administers the excise tax on beer, beverages and wine and may make regulations relating to the transportation of beer and wine coolers through the Commonwealth, including regulations to prohibit the direct shipment of beer and wine coolers from points outside the Commonwealth to an installation of the U.S. Armed Forces located within the Commonwealth for resale on such installation. Code of Virginia, Title 4.1, Chapters 1 and 2.

The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority operates under the supervision of the Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security. In addition, the board issues licensee bulletins, circular letters, and special notices for the information and guidance of licensees and others affected. Internet address:

Rev. 07/2024


Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

As a service to the public, the Virginia Administrative Code is provided online by the Virginia General Assembly. We are unable to answer legal questions or respond to requests for legal advice, including application of law to specific fact. To understand and protect your legal rights, you should consult an attorney.