The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is pleased to announce the filing of a Joint Stipulation of Dismissal in litigation filed nearly a year ago challenging Virginia’s happy hour advertising rules.
The parties to the lawsuit, CG4, LLC, doing business as Chef Geoff’s Tysons Corner and Geoff Tracy, and Virginia ABC filed the Joint Dismissal Feb. 22. There was no monetary settlement in this case as both parties agreed to dismiss the matter.
The dismissal was made possible through the introduction of legislation during the course of the 2019 General Assembly to modify the happy hour advertising rules. That legislation, HB 2073 and SB 1726, passed the General Assembly with overwhelming support and has been signed into law by the Governor. The effective date of the new rules is July 1, 2019.
“Virginia ABC strives to balance the interests of our licensees to advertise and sell alcoholic beverages while maintaining our commitment to public safety,” said Travis Hill, Chief Executive Officer of Virginia ABC. “We were pleased to advocate in favor of the legislation and are appreciative of its passage. We look forward to continuing to work with our licensees to implement the change.”
As a result of this legislation, licensees will be able to use creative marketing techniques in happy hour advertisements beginning July 1, 2019, as long as those marketing methods do not encourage alcohol overconsumption or underage drinking. All other regulatory provisions related to happy hours remain valid, including the prohibitions on volume-based discounts.
The Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority (ABC) is a major source of revenue for the commonwealth, contributing more than $2.1 billion to the general fund in the last five years. Virginia ABC currently operates 376 state stores, and provides alcohol education and prevention programs for people of all ages. Its Bureau of Law Enforcement oversees more than 18,000 ABC licensed establishments. Now marking its 85th year, ABC remains committed to progress and innovation in carrying out its vision of bringing good spirits and excellent service to Virginia.