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Liquor Laws Updated in Wildwood

Wildwood officials update the municipality's ordinances, based on changes in Missouri laws regarding Sunday liquor sales.

Any eligible business in Wildwood now can apply for a liquor license on Sundays, said Wildwood City Attorney Rob Golterman. City council members approved an ordinance during Monday evening's meeting that amended the municipality's alcoholic beverages code. Golterman said it was necessary due to a change in Missouri legislation, House Bill 1498.

Missouri's liquor control laws were amended, effective last August.

Prior to the new state liquor-related law, only certain types of licensees, such as hotels and restaurants, could serve alcohol on Sundays, said Golterman. Now the state law does not make distinctions, he said, and Wildwood regulations needed to be changed to conform.

Before the change, a person with a license to sell liquor in the original package at retail was authorized to apply for a Sunday liquor sales license. The amended Missouri law removed the requirement that the liquor be in its original package and allows any person with a license to sell liquor at retail to apply for a Sunday liquor sales license.

The amended law allows any person licensed to sell liquor at retail by-the-drink for consumption on the premises where sold to use a table tap dispensing system to allow patrons to dispense beer at a table. However, the employee of the licensee must first authorize an amount of beer, not to exceed 32 ounces per patron per authorization, to be dispensed by the system.

The amended law repealed various, separate provisions authorizing a person to obtain a special license for Sunday sales of liquor, malt liquor, or certain beers, including:  wine shops; dance ballrooms in St. Louis; certain hotel and resort restaurants and bars; certain amusement places; certain places of entertainment in Kansas City, St. Louis, Jackson County, St. Louis County, and St. Charles County; sports stadiums in St. Louis; airline clubs; and charitable, fraternal, religious, service, or veterans’ organizations that are exempt from federal income taxes.

Prior to the amended state law, certain establishments in St. Louis or Kansas City were required to have a certain minimum amount of gross receipts to obtain a Sunday-by-the-drink license.

Supporters said the law establishes uniformity in licensing, requirements, and hours of operation of establishments and will be easier for local governments, law enforcement and liquor control to enforce. Testifying in support for the bill were Anheuser Busch, Incorporated; Missouri Restaurant Association; and Missouri Beer Wholesalers Association.

Those who opposed the law said they do not support any expansion of the current liquor control laws.

Testifying against the law was Abram Messer, Missouri Baptist Convention.

Others testifying on the law said it would lead to an increase in the number of liquor licenses, generating additional revenue.

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