The Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) issued a legislative bulletinthis week including guidance on the new liquor delivery law going into effect on January 1, 2022. The guidance is mostly targeted at the retailers who want to take advantage of the new law that allows liquor delivery; however, municipalities that license these retailers may want to be aware of the new rules and consider whether they need to update their local liquor codes to be consistent with the new law.

As a reminder, the new law preempts home rule and non-home rule units (except for Chicago) and allows certain state-authorized liquor deliveries effective January 1, 2022. “Delivery” means the movement of alcoholic liquor purchased from a licensed retailer to a consumer through:

  1. delivery within the licensed retailer’s parking lot, including curbside, for pickup by the consumer;
  2. delivery by an owner, officer, director, shareholder, or employee of the licensed retailer; or
  3. delivery by a third-party contractor, independent contractor, or agent with whom the licensed retailer has contracted to make deliveries of alcoholic liquors.

Deliveries must be made within 12 hours from the time the alcoholic liquor leaves the retailer’s licensed premises, and “delivery” does not include use of common carriers.

The new ILCC guidance only allows deliveries by retailers that are designated by the ILCC as licensed for off-premises consumption or combined off-premises/on-premises consumption. All alcoholic liquor must be delivered in the original package unless the liquor is delivered under the cocktails-to-go law. While cocktails-to-go deliveries must be made by a person 21 years of age or older, the guidance provides that other liquor deliveries may be made by a person 18 years of age or older subject to local ordinance.

The guidance also states that the retailer and its third-party delivery agent must comply with specific sections of the Liquor Control Act, including Section 6-16 (prohibited sales and possession), Section 6-29 (winery shipper’s license), and Section 6-29.1 (direct shipments of alcoholic liquor). While Section 6-29 states its labeling, signature, and delivery confirmation requirements only apply to wine, the state guidance applies these requirements to all deliveries of alcoholic liquor under the new law:

  • All packages containing alcoholic liquor must be clearly labeled “CONTAINS ALCOHOL. SIGNATURE OF A PERSON 21 YEARS OF AGE OR OLDER REQUIRED FOR DELIVERY. PROOF OF AGE AND IDENTITY MUST BE SHOWN BEFORE DELIVERY.” This warning must be prominently displayed on the packages.
  • A retailer must require the transporter that delivers the package to obtain the signature of a person 21 years of age or older at the delivery address at the time of delivery.
  • At the expense of the retailer, the retailer must receive a delivery confirmation from the third-party delivery company indicating the location of the delivery, time of delivery, and the name and signature of the individual 21 years of age or older who accepts delivery.

The guidance also requires retailers and their third-party agents to comply with all local, state, and federal delivery laws, including the alcohol delivery laws of other states. Significantly, retailers will be liable for delivery violations of third-party delivery agents.

The legislative bulletin also provides that, under similar conditions, licensed off-premises and combined off-premises/on-premises retailers may ship alcoholic liquor in the original package to a consumer by common carrier if allowed by the local liquor control commission or local ordinance.

Post Authored by Dan Bolin & Erin Monforti, Ancel Glink