All alcoholic beverages may be bought, sold, served, consumed and otherwise disposed of in premises which shall be licensed as provided by the Legislature. In providing for the licensing of premises, the Legislature may provide for the issuance of, among other licenses, licenses for the following types of premises where the alcoholic beverages specified in the licenses may be sold and served for consumption upon the premises:
(a) For bona fide public eating places, as defined by the Legislature.
(b) For public premises in which food shall not be sold or served as in a bona fide public eating place, but upon which premises the Legislature may permit the sale or service of food products incidental to the sale and service of alcoholic beverages. No person under the age of 21 years shall be permitted to enter and remain in any such premises without lawful business therein.
(c) For public premises for the sale and service of beers alone.
(d) Under such conditions as the Legislature may impose, for railroad dining or club cars, passenger ships, common carriers by air, and bona fide clubs after such clubs have been lawfully operated for not less than one year.
The sale, furnishing, giving, or causing to be sold, furnished, or giving away of any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years is hereby prohibited, and no person shall sell, furnish, give, or cause to be sold, furnished, or given away any alcoholic beverage to any person under the age of 21 years, and no person under the age of 21 years shall purchase any alcoholic beverage.
The Director of Alcoholic Beverage Control shall be the head of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, shall be appointed by the Governor subject to confirmation by a majority vote of all of the members elected to the Senate, and shall serve at the pleasure of the Governor. The director may be removed from office by the Governor, and the Legislature shall have the power, by a majority vote of all members elected to each house, to remove the director from office for dereliction of duty or corruption or incompetency. The director may appoint three persons who shall be exempt from civil service, in addition to the person he is authorized to appoint by Section 4 of Article XXIV.
The Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control shall have the exclusive power, except as herein provided and in accordance with laws enacted by the Legislature, to license the manufacture, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages in this State, and to collect license fees or occupation taxes on account thereof. The department shall have the power, in its discretion, to deny, suspend or revoke any specific alcoholic beverages license if it shall determine for good cause that the granting or continuance of such license would be contrary to public welfare or morals, or that a person seeking or holding a license has violated any law prohibiting conduct involving moral turpitude. It shall be unlawful for any person other than a licensee of said department to manufacture, import or sell alcoholic beverages in this State.
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Appeals Board shall consist of three members appointed by the Governor, subject to confirmation by a majority vote of all of the members elected to the Senate. Each member, at the time of his initial appointment, shall be a resident of a different county from the one in which either of the other members resides. The members of the board may be removed from office by the Governor, and the Legislature shall have the power, by a majority vote of all members elected to each house, to remove any member from office for dereliction of duty or corruption or incompetency.
When any person aggrieved thereby appeals from a decision of the department ordering any penalty assessment, issuing, denying, transferring, suspending or revoking any license for the manufacture, importation, or sale of alcoholic beverages, the board shall review the decision subject to such limitations as may be imposed by the Legislature. In such cases, the board shall not receive evidence in addition to that considered by the department. Review by the board of a decision of the department shall be limited to the questions whether the department has proceeded without or in excess of its jurisdiction, whether the department has proceeded in the manner required by law, whether the decision is supported by the findings, and whether the findings are supported by substantial evidence in the light of the whole record. In appeals where the board finds that there is relevant evidence which, in the exercise of reasonable diligence, could not have been produced or which was improperly excluded at the hearing before the department it may enter an order remanding the matter to the department for reconsideration in the light of such evidence. In all other appeals the board shall enter an order either affirming or reversing the decision of the department. When the order reverses the decision of the department, the board may direct the reconsideration of the matter in the light of its order and may direct the department to take such further action as is specially enjoined upon it by law, but the order shall not limit or control in any way the discretion vested by law in the department. Orders of the board shall be subject to judicial review upon petition of the director or any party aggrieved by such order.
A concurrent resolution for the removal of either the director or any member of the board may be introduced in the Legislature only if five Members of the Senate, or 10 Members of the Assembly, join as authors.
Until the Legislature shall otherwise provide, the privilege of keeping, buying, selling, serving, and otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages in bona fide hotels, restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, railroad dining or club cars, passenger ships, and other public eating places, and in bona fide clubs after such clubs have been lawfully operated for not less than one year, and the privilege of keeping, buying, selling, serving, and otherwise disposing of beers on any premises open to the general public shall be licensed and regulated under the applicable provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, insofar as the same are not inconsistent with the provisions hereof, and excepting that the license fee to be charged bona fide hotels, restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, railroad dining or club cars, passenger ships, and other public eating places, and any bona fide clubs after such clubs have been lawfully operated for not less than one year, for the privilege of keeping, buying, selling, or otherwise disposing of alcoholic beverages, shall be the amounts prescribed as of the operative date hereof, subject to the power of the Legislature to change such fees.
The State Board of Equalization shall assess and collect such excise taxes as are or may be imposed by the Legislature on account of the manufacture, importation and sale of alcoholic beverages in this State.
The Legislature may authorize, subject to reasonable restrictions, the sale in retail stores of alcoholic beverages contained in the original packages, where such alcoholic beverages are not to be consumed on the premises where sold; and may provide for the issuance of all types of licenses necessary to carry on the activities referred to in the first paragraph of this section, including, but not limited to, licenses necessary for the manufacture, production, processing, importation, exportation, transportation, wholesaling, distribution, and sale of any and all kinds of alcoholic beverages.
The Legislature shall provide for apportioning the amounts collected for license fees or occupation taxes under the provisions hereof between the State and the cities, counties and cities and counties of the State, in such manner as the Legislature may deem proper.
All constitutional provisions and laws inconsistent with the provisions hereof are hereby repealed.
The provisions of this section shall be self-executing, but nothing herein shall prohibit the Legislature from enacting laws implementing and not inconsistent with such provisions.
This amendment shall become operative on January 1, 1957.
Alcoholic Beverage Control Act
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.
23003. "Alcohol" means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced.
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.
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.
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.
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.
23023. "Retailer" means any on- or off-sale licensee.
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.
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.
23026. "Retail sale" or "sale at retail" means the sale by an on- or off-sale licensee for consumption and not for resale.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(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.
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 matinee theater performances on Sundays provided that alcoholic beverages are not sold, served, or consumed on the premises during those performances.
23958. Upon receipt of an application for a license or for a transfer of a license and the applicable fee, the department shall make a thorough investigation to determine whether the applicant and the premises for which a license is applied qualify for a license and whether the provisions of this division have been complied with, and shall investigate all matters connected therewith which may affect the public welfare and morals. The department shall deny an application for a license or for a transfer of a license if either the applicant or the premises for which a license is applied do not qualify for a license under this division.
The department further shall deny an application for a license if issuance of that license would tend to create a law enforcement problem, or if issuance would result in or add to an undue concentration of licenses, except as provided in Section 23958.4.
23958.4. (a) For purposes of Section 23958, "undue concentration" means the case in which the applicant premises for an original or premises-to-premises transfer of any retail license are located in an area where any of the following conditions exist:
(1) The applicant premises are located in a crime reporting district that has a 20 percent greater number of reported crimes, as defined in subdivision (c), than the average number of reported crimes as determined from all crime reporting districts within the jurisdiction of the local law enforcement agency.
(2) As to on-sale retail license applications, the ratio of on-sale retail licenses to population in the census tract or census division in which the applicant premises are located exceeds the ratio of on-sale retail licenses to population in the county in which the applicant premises are located.
(3) As to off-sale retail license applications, the ratio of off-sale retail licenses to population in the census tract or census division in which the applicant premises are located exceeds the ratio of off-sale retail licenses to population in the county in which the applicant premises are located.
(b) Notwithstanding Section 23958, the department may issue a license as follows:
(1) With respect to a nonretail license, a retail on-sale bona fide eating place license, a retail license issued for a hotel, motel, or other lodging establishment, as defined in subdivision (b) of Section 25503.16, a retail license issued in conjunction with a beer manufacturer's license, or a winegrower's license, if the applicant shows that public convenience or necessity would be served by the issuance.
(2) With respect to any other license, if the local governing body of the area in which the applicant premises are located, or its designated subordinate officer or body, determines within 90 days of notification of a completed application that public convenience or necessity would be served by the issuance. The 90-day period shall commence upon receipt by the local governing body of (A) notification by the department of an application for licensure, or (B) a completed application according to local requirements, if any, whichever is later.
If the local governing body, or its designated subordinate officer or body, does not make a determination within the 90-day period, then the department may issue a license if the applicant shows the department that public convenience or necessity would be served by the issuance. In making its determination, the department shall not attribute any weight to the failure of the local governing body, or its designated subordinate officer or body, to make a determination regarding public convenience or necessity within the 90-day period.