On Tuesday, July 16, the Select Board discussed a series of regulations drafted to address liability concerns the town has regarding existing Bring Your Own Bottle (BYOB) practices in the town of Stoneham. The Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC) has banned the practice of BYOB statewide among establishments with existing liquor licenses, however leaves regulation around restaurants without liquor licenses to municipalities to determine.
What the BYOB Regulations Do
The Select Board working with Town Counsel, is proposing that food serving establishments, which are regulated by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission (ABCC), obtain a BYOB license annually. This is a growing trend among Massachusetts municipalities to offer BYOB licenses as a way to regulate these restaurants in the same manner as restaurants with a traditional liquor license. By putting the regulations in place, the Select Board, the liquor license authority for the town, can revoke a BYOB license for unacceptable practices, such as patrons being over served or underage. Once adopted, all restaurants serving alcohol would have to apply for an annual license, either a liquor license or a BYOB license, and pay the associated fee. The fee for a BYOB license has yet to be determined.
What the Regulations Do Not Do
The regulations are specific to food serving establishments and do not apply to what is considered a private party, including paint nights and salon parties, because they are not regulated by the ABCC, and are not subject to the same liability concerns. However, there is discussion that the Select Board may adopt regulations around these type of BYOB events in the future.
To read the full draft regulations, click on the link below. A third and final hearing on the regulations is still yet to be determined but will likely occur at either the August or September scheduled Select Board meeting.