Important information for Illinois bars and restaurants – Illinois Liquor Control Commission (@ILLiquorControl) issues guidance for return of alcohol purchased for cancelled St. Patrick’s Day parades. But act quickly!

Illinois liquor lawyers should pass this around to their bar and restaurant clients. The Illinois Liquor Control Commission has issued this guidance on the return of alcoholic liquors if and when Illinois St. Patrick’s day parades are cancelled. You can read the full text below. Note that on account of the penultimate clause, the right to return beer is granted now, with the right to return wine and spirits set to be authorized if the TTB approves. Also, the time-frame is extremely limited, so get those returns done soon.

Here is the full guidance note the conditions 1 through 4 below:

Illinois Liquor Control Commission
COVID-19 Related Action
Guidance on Product Returns for St. Patrick’s Day Parade Events – March 2020

Both Federal and State of Illinois alcohol beverage laws generally prohibit the sale of alcoholic liquor from a distributor to a retailer on consignment, under a conditional sale, or with the privilege of return. Due to the outbreak of COVID-19, public officials are considering the cancellation of St. Patrick’s Day Parade Events (“Parade Events”) scheduled to occur throughout the State on March 13, 2020 through March 15, 2020.

Because of the possibility of the cancellation of Parade Events, it has become necessary to consider the authorization of the return of alcoholic liquor sold by distributors to retailers in anticipation of the Parade Events. In past years, alcohol beverage distributors and retailers have purchased a higher than usual volume of alcoholic liquor to ensure enough product supply for patrons attending Parade Events. If the Parade Events are cancelled, alcohol beverage distributors and retailers could be left with an oversupply of unsalable or unusable of products which could not have been anticipated at the time of the original order for such products.

Therefore, if Parade Events are cancelled, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (“State Commission”) is authorizing a one-time return of alcoholic liquor based on unanticipated emergency circumstances.

Returns are authorized under the following conditions only if authorized public officials cancel Parade Events:

1. Distributors may accept the return of beer from retailers who ordered beer in anticipation of Parade Events and reasonably related to such Parade Events.
2. Distributors may accept the return of wine and spirits from retailers who ordered wine and spirits in anticipation of the Parade Events and reasonably related to such Parade Events if the returns are first authorized by the Federal Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau.
3. All such returns shall be completed within seven (7) days of the cancellation of the Parade Event unless the licensee can demonstrate to the State Commission reasons for an extension.
4. All such returns shall be documented on customary and usual credit invoices and be available for inspection according to all State Commission records retention and records availability rules (e.g. retailer 90-day invoice requirement; three years records retention schedule).

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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