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Definition of “Alcoholic Beverage” Under the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law

The State Liquor Authority, through the Alcoholic Beverage Control Law (“ABCL”), regulates the manufacture, sale and distribution of alcoholic beverages throughout the state. As defined in ABCL §3(1), an alcoholic beverage includes any liquid, solid, powder or crystal that: 1) contains alcohol, spirits, wine or beer; and 2) is capable of being consumed by a human being. Under this definition, an alcoholic beverage includes not only “beverages” but food items.  Although not specifically set forth in the ABCL, the Authority has adopted the federal standard that an item containing less than one-half of one percent (0.5%) alcohol by volume is not an
alcoholic beverage.

Even if an item has an alcohol content of one-half of one percent (0.5%) or more by volume, it may still be exempted from the definition of “alcoholic beverage” and, as a result, the manufacture, sale and distribution of the item is not subject to the ABCL.

This blog post is not intended to consist of legal advice and you should always consult with a lawyer before acting on anything you find on the Internet.  If you have questions or comments about this post, about the topic, or if you need legal assistance, you should feel free to give us a call or send us an email.  Let us know how a New York City liquor license lawyer can assist you.

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