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PENNSYLVANIA - BYO REGULATIONS

Summary

In Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board (PLCB) is the controlling authority for alcoholic beverages. The PLCB regulations do not prohibit customers bringing their own wine to restaurants. However, municipalities have the right to enact ordinances prohibiting such conduct. In the absence of a municipal prohibition, every restaurant -- licensed or unlicensed -- can make its own decision regarding whether it is willing to permit customers to bring their own wine and whether or not to charge a corkage fee.

Details

Controlling Authority: Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board

State Law Regarding Alcohol: Title 47

Can a person bring wine into a restaurant that is not licensed?

  • There is nothing in the Liquor Code or the Board’s Regulations that prohibits an individual from bringing his or her own alcohol into any establishment, whether or not the establishment possesses a license issued by the Board.
  • An establishment is, therefore, free to allow or disallow patrons from bringing their own alcohol onto its premises.
  • However, municipalities have the right to enact ordinances prohibiting BYO.
  • To be completely lawful, the alcohol dispensed must be legally procured in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Section 491 of the Liquor Code makes it unlawful for any person to possess any wine or liquor within Pennsylvania that has not been purchased through a Pennsylvania wine and spirits store or a licensed limited winery.
  • The establishment may, but need not, charge a corkage fee to handle any product brought onto the premises by its patrons.

Can a person bring wine into a restaurant while the restaurant is applying for a license?

  • Yes, patrons can bring BYO wine if the restaurant’s license is pending.

What care must the person take in bringing wine to a restaurant?

  • An individual must be 21 years of age to consume alcohol.
  • Previously opened bottles of alcohol must be carried in the car’s trunk.

What care must the restaurant take when a customer brings in BYO wine?

  • Restaurant licensees are not permitted to furnish, serve or allow people to consume any alcoholic beverages during hours they may not legally sell alcoholic beverages.

Can restaurants store or use BYO wine?

  • Restaurants are not permitted to store the customer's wine.
  • The customer's wine should remain at the table for consumption by the customer, and any unfinished wine should be taken by the customer off the licensed premises.

Disclaimer: The information stated above is provided as a free service, based on research of public records accessible through the Internet. It does not constitute legal advice. We try to provide quality information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained on this website. It should also be recognized that governmental regulations can be changed at any time.

 
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