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Oct 24, 2008 09:47 AM

AZ BYOB Law Change?

Someone recently told me that he believed that Az had changed the law that allows customers to bring beer or wine into restaurants that have no liquor license. I certainly have not heard of such a change, but I don't always follow local politics. Has anyone heard about such a thing?


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  1. There has been no change to the best of my knowledge.

    Arizona liquor law is all about protecting the three tier system and the large licensees. Competition and the consumer be damned.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jock

      Hello Jock,

      Maybe you can refresh my memory, re: AZ BYOB laws. It *seems* that it was based on the number of tables (maybe seats) and that there were other "ins-and-outs." I know that you will have the details pretty handy.


      PS sorry that we'll miss the Benovia dinner. Really wanted to do that on many different levels, but we're out of the city. Is Joe Anderson (and Mary) coming to talk? We'll miss you and the event. Great PN's and their Chards are not shabby.

      1. re: Bill Hunt

        seth and silverbear are correct and succinct.

        benovia's wines rock. joe and mary will both be here. sorry you will miss them.

        that still does not excuse you from not stopping in recently ;)

    2. Arizona law allows BYOB only under the following conditions:

      1) The restaurant does not have a liquor license.
      2) The restaurant has 40 seats or fewer.
      3) The restaurant has procured a BYOB permit.

      I suspect that some restaurants operate outside of #2 and #3, but #1 is rarely violated because 1) restaurants don't want to jeopardize their licenses 2) most restaurants would rather sell their own beverages than have customers bring drink in from the outside.

      To the best of my knowledge, the law has not changed recently.

      1. BYOBs are considered an exception to Arizona Revised Statute 4-244.05 ( and is administered by Administrative Rule R-19-1-315 which spells out the parameters for BYOB. ( - scroll down to the bottom of the page).

        According to the Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, new rules were submitted on September 16, 2008 for consideration and enacting those rules would occur at a future date. ( - see page 64


        Looking at the proposed rules and the current rules regarding BYOB, it looks like these are the changes they want to enact:

        Raise the number of maximum seats in a restaurant from 40 to 50;
        Raise the amount of wine a customer can consume from six ounces to 750 ml. (roughly 25 ounces);
        Beer would remain the same at 24 ounces.

        Conditions #1 and #3 as stated above by silverbear would remain the same.

        Yes, I needed a break from wedding stuff. :o)

        4 Replies
        1. re: Seth Chadwick

          Ah, I forgot about the six-ounce rule, which is almost never enforced in my experience. These changes sound very sensible and I hope they are enacted.

          1. re: Seth Chadwick

            Well, in some ways this makes sense, but the limit on beer of 24 oz is silly, seeing that a customer can bring 25.4 oz of wine. Technically that means I can't bring a 750 mL bottle of good beer with me to dinner, even though its less total alcohol than wine.

            But again, I've never seen these limits enforced anyways...

            1. re: Seth Chadwick

              Anybody know how and where to get the BYOB permit? Thanks!

            2. Thanks folks for all the input. I thought perhaps that my source was misinformed. Those changes sound good, and no, I have never encountered enforcement of the 6 oz rule anywhere down here in Yuma.

              The BYOB laws are one of the good things about the way things work in this state. Wine can turn a simple ethnic meal in a hole in the wall into a real feast.

              Thanks again!


              5 Replies
              1. re: Ed Dibble

                actualy the byob law in arizona sucks. holders of a liquor license, like me, should be able to offer their customers the option to byob if the licensee chooses to do so. we should not be legally prohibited from doing so simply because a more monied and therefore more influential group would rather decline a patron's request by saying "i'm sorry it's against the law" than by saying "i'm sorry it's against my policy."

                byob is customary around the world as long as the restaurateur and the patron agree. arizona is one of the few states that prohibit licensees from making the choice. arizona law is both anti-competition and anti-consumer.

                1. re: jock

                  I agree, Jock. Even Utah allows BYOB!

                  But I thought there was one loophole in the law. I heard if you have a private club with a certain number of members, with dues and a board and other requirements, you can ask establishments to allow you to BYOB. This was set up apparently for collectors. Anyone else hip to this?

                  1. re: 1wino

                    yeah, we got that exception written into the law about 10 years ago. without looking at the exact law it has to be a club with x number of members (20?), in existence for at least one year, have nominal dues AND there have to be more than 6 or 8 members at the "meeting"

                  2. re: jock

                    I stand corrected.

                    But the law does insure that patrons can have adult beverages in almost every dining establishment if the restaurant agrees. Admittedly, it allows some restrauteurs to gouge and does limit options for people dining in licensed establishments, but it is nice to be able to have a nice bottle of wine in places where it would be otherwise unavailable.

                    1. re: jock


                      You have it nailed. Even though I seldom BYOW, there have been a few instances, where I'd like to, say a '48 Taylor for wife's 50th. In AZ, this cannot be done legally. Now, I am not saying that some restaruranterus have not turned a blind-eye for a good customer. I am also not saying who these might be, for very obvious reasons.

                      When I have availed myself of corkage, it's been with very good reason and not to bring my own Yellow Tail, 'cause it was cheaper at the grocery store. I have also not minded any corkage fees, though do not ever recall being billed in my few instances. I also tipped as though I had purchased the wine that I brought. Heck, they furnished great stemware, usually decanted and then poured for me.

                      I'd like to see many laws on wines changed in AZ, but that is fodder for a different thread.