This Round Is On Me - NOT per Tennessee ABC

This Round Is On Me - NOT per Tennessee ABC

The Tennessee ABC closed the loop on a policy that previously allowed bar owners and marketers to "buy" drinks for patrons, a marketing strategy that avoided the prohibition against giving away drinks. Beginning today, February 8, 2012, ABC agents have been asked to first warn and then cite bars and restaurants that allow individuals to buy drinks for marketing.

Tennessee state law has a long-standing prohibition against giving away liquor at bars and restaurants. No free samples, no "this one is on me" from bartenders, and no free drink happy hours. The rule does not apply to beer.

Some clever owners and marketers exploited a loophole in the prohibition against free drinks and bought rounds of drinks at regular cost from the bar, and then handed them out to strangers. The bar was not giving away drinks - it was an individual. Of course, the ABC suspected that the bar or marketing company ended up paying the individual back for the round.

The practice has grown in popularity and promoters have started sending "shooter girls" into popular watering holes to buy free samples of shots marketed to young binge drinkers.

The ABC declared that the practice constitutes dispensing alcohol without a license, which is a crime in Tennessee punishable by real jail time. We recommend that folks stop the practice immediately.

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