Happy Hour Regulation Changes, in Virginia. What’s new?

VAabc.com Changes to ABC laws for Happy Hour in Virginia

Happy Hour changes for Virginia!

The Virginia Legislature and Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority have approved a New Alcohol HAPPY HOUR Law!

A BIG WIN for Virginia Businesses!

Effective July 1, 2019 – The Virginia ABC will allow On-Premise license holders to Advertise Happy Hour Features, PRICES and use other creative marketing techniques, to boost sales and business.

HB 2073 Alcoholic beverage control; happy hour advertising. This will expand the ability of retail on-premises licensees to advertise happy hours by allowing them to advertise the prices of featured alcoholic beverages and to use creative marketing techniques, provided that such techniques do not tend to induce overconsumption or consumption by minors.

Until July, here are the laws governing Happy Hour regulations:

  • “Happy hour” is defined as a specified period of time during which alcoholic beverages are sold at prices reduced from the customary price established by a retail licensee.
  • Happy hour may not be conducted between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
  • Restaurants may only use one of two phrases for promotions: “happy hour” or “drink specials.”
  • Businesses may promote the time span of their happy hour, and may list specific drink types and brands.
  • Restaurants may promote “Happy Hour” on flyers, posters, social media, their website and in advertisements.
  • External promotion (outside of the business) of happy hour prices and discount amounts is restricted.
  • Two-for-one drink specials are illegal.

Starting in July, Virginia businesses will have a new landscape to compete in. We’re excited for you — but please make sure to check back, often, and stay up-to-date with the training that VA ABC Consulting offers so that you are constantly updated with any regulation changes that affect you and your bottom line! (and your compliance)

This article and its contents represent the opinions of the author only and is
not intended to convey or constitute legal advice. ABC Consulting is a private
consulting firm, in way do we represent the VA Dept. of Alcoholic Beverage
Control Authority. You should not act upon any such information without seeking qualified professional advice based upon your situation.

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