125.04(5)(d)1.1. Paragraph (a) 2.
does not apply to applicants for operators' licenses issued under s. 125.17
or to applicants for managers' licenses issued under s. 125.18
. Managers' licenses may be issued only to applicants who are residents of this state at the time of issuance.
2. Paragraph (a) 3.
does not apply to applicants for operators' licenses under s. 125.17
. Operators' licenses may be issued only to applicants who have attained the age of 18.
(6) Licenses to corporations and limited liability companies; appointment of agents. 125.04(6)(a)(a)
No corporation or limited liability company organized under the laws of this state or of any other state or foreign country may be issued any alcohol beverage license or permit unless:
The entity first appoints an agent in the manner prescribed by the authority issuing the license or permit. In addition to the qualifications under sub. (5)
, the agent must, with respect to character, record and reputation, be satisfactory to the issuing authority.
The entity vests in the agent, by properly authorized and executed written delegation, full authority and control of the premises described in the license or permit of the entity, and of the conduct of all business on the premises relative to alcohol beverages, that the licensee or permittee could have and exercise if it were a natural person.
A corporation or limited liability company may cancel the appointment of an agent and appoint a successor agent to act in the agent's place, for the remainder of the license year or until another agent is appointed, as follows:
The successor agent shall meet the same qualifications required of the first appointed agent.
The entity shall immediately notify the issuing authority, in writing, of the appointment of the successor agent and the reason for the cancellation and new appointment.
Authority of successor.
A successor agent shall have all the authority, perform all the functions and be charged with all the duties of the previous agent of the corporation or limited liability company until the next regular or special meeting of the issuing authority if a license is held. However, the license of the corporation or limited liability company shall cease to be in force if, prior to the next regular or special meeting of the issuing authority, the clerk of the licensing authority receives notice of disapproval of the successor agent by a peace officer of the municipality issuing the license.
Approval of successor.
The license of the corporation or limited liability company shall not be in force after the next regular or special meeting of the licensing authority unless and until the successor agent or another qualified agent is appointed and approved by the licensing authority.
The corporation or limited liability company shall, following the approval of each successor agent or another qualified agent by the licensing authority, pay to the licensing authority a fee of $10.
If an agent appointed under this subsection resigns, he or she shall notify in writing the corporation or limited liability company and the authority issuing the license or permit within 48 hours of the resignation.
(8) Payment of license fee.
No license for the sale of alcohol beverages may be delivered to the applicant until the applicant files with the municipal clerk a receipt showing payment of the license fee to the appropriate treasurer. No city or village may require an applicant to pay the license fee more than 15 days prior to the date the license is to be issued. No town may require an applicant to pay the license fee more than 30 days prior to the date the license is to be issued.
(9) Separate license or permit required.
Except as provided under ss. 125.27 (2) (a)
and 125.51 (5) (c) 1.
, wholesalers, manufacturers, rectifiers, brewers, brewpubs, and retailers shall have a separate permit or license covering each location or premises, except a licensed public warehouse, from which deliveries and sales of alcohol beverages are made or at which alcohol beverages are stored.
(10) License and permit framed, posted. 125.04(10)(a)(a)
Permits for the retail sale of alcohol beverages, and licenses for the sale of alcohol beverages, shall be enclosed in a frame having a transparent front which allows the license or permit to be clearly read.
All permits and licenses under par. (a)
, other than those for the sale of fermented malt beverages for consumption on the premises issued to the state fair or to county or district fairs receiving state aid, shall be conspicuously displayed for public inspection at all times in the room or place where the activity subject to permit or licensure is carried on.
(11) Expiration dates.
Except as otherwise provided in this chapter:
All permits to sell alcohol beverages shall expire as specified in the valid certificate issued under s. 73.03 (50)
The municipal governing body of a 1st class city may issue a retail license for the sale of alcohol beverages at any time during a year. Each license shall be valid for one year and shall specify its date of expiration.
All licenses other than those specified under subd. 1.
shall expire on June 30 of each year.
From place to place.
Every alcohol beverage license or permit may be transferred to another place or premises within the same municipality. An alcohol beverage warehouse permit under s. 125.19
, a winery permit under s. 125.53
or an intoxicating liquor wholesaler's permit under s. 125.54
may be transferred to another premises within this state. Transfers shall be made by the issuing authority upon payment of a fee of $10 to the issuing authority. No retail licensee, retail permittee, intoxicating liquor wholesaler or holder of a warehouse or winery permit is entitled to more than one transfer during the license or permit year. This paragraph does not apply to a license issued under s. 125.51 (4) (v)
or to a reserve "Class B" license, as defined in s. 125.51 (4) (a)
Licenses to sell alcohol beverages may be transferred to persons other than the licensee if the licensee, or an applicant for a subsequently granted license, dies, becomes bankrupt or makes an assignment for the benefit of creditors during the license year or after filing the application. If a retail licensee becomes disabled, the municipality may, upon application, transfer the license to the licensee's spouse if that spouse may hold a license under sub. (5)
and complies with all of the requirements under this chapter applicable to original applicants, except that the spouse is exempt from payment of the license fee for the year in which the transfer takes place.
Upon the happening of any of the events under subd. 1.
, the personal representative, the surviving spouse if a personal representative is not appointed, the trustee or the receiver may continue or sell or assign the business.
If the business is sold or assigned, the license may be transferred to the successor owner or assignee at no charge if:
He or she complies with the requirements applicable to original applicants; and
He or she is acceptable to the issuing authority and consent to the transfer is given by the issuing authority.
Any person who violates sub. (1)
may be fined not more than $10,000 or imprisoned for not more than 9 months or both.
History: 1981 c. 79
; 1983 a. 27
; 1985 a. 302
; 1987 a. 35
; 1989 a. 31
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 112
; 1995 a. 23
; 1995 a. 27
, 9154 (1)
; 1995 a. 225
; 1997 a. 27
; 2003 a. 250
; 2007 a. 20
; 2011 a. 32
Sub. (3) (h) [formerly s. 176.14] requires a licensee to update an application during the license year to facilitate scrutiny of the ongoing operation. The licensing authority has discretion to approve or disapprove any reported expansion of a licensed premises. Alberti v. City of Whitewater, 109 Wis. 2d 592
, 327 N.W.2d 150
(Ct. App. 1982).
Licensees who are natural persons are liable for criminal acts of employees. State v. Beaudry, 119 Wis. 2d 96
, 349 N.W.2d 106
(Ct. App. 1984). But see s. 125.115.
The registered agent of a corporate alcohol beverage licensee is subject to vicarious criminal liability for an employee's violation of the closing hour law. State v. Beaudry, 123 Wis. 2d 40
, 365 N.W.2d 593
A person may be a "habitual law offender" under sub. (5) (b) without having been convicted of any crime. Smith v. Oak Creek, 139 Wis. 2d 788
, 407 N.W.2d 901
Sub. (1) requires that the actual owner of an establishment selling intoxicating liquor possess the license in his or her own name. State v. Eastman, 148 Wis. 2d 254
, 435 N.W.2d 278
(Ct. App. 1988).
A license never should have been issued when a notice of application had not been published as required under s. 125.04 (3) (g), and a license issued without publication is void under s. 125.04 (2). Selling liquor under a void license constitutes a violation of s. 125.66 (1). Under s. 125.12, a renewal licensee, if refused, is guaranteed a right to be heard by the municipality, and the municipality must show cause for refusal, but a new licensee, if refused, has no such guarantee. When an original license is void, the applicant is a new licensee. Williams v. City of Lake Geneva, 2002 WI App 95
, 253 Wis. 2d 618
, 643 N.W.2d 864
Proprietors of a bed and breakfast may solicit voluntary contributions from guests at a social event held on the premises to defray the cost of alcohol, but proprietors who do not hold a license may not serve alcohol at a social event only to those who pay an admission fee. 80 Atty. Gen. 218
A village board's denial of an application for a liquor license did not deprive the applicant of either liberty or property. Scott v. Village of Kewaskum, 786 F. 2d 338
90 Proof: Liquor Licensing in Wisconsin. Murrell. Wis. Law. May 2009.
Booklet for licensees and permittees. 125.045(1)
The department shall prepare a booklet explaining the state statutes and rules relating to the retail sale of alcohol beverages, written concisely in language which is clearly understood by those required to utilize it.
The department shall provide a copy of the booklet under sub. (1)
free of charge to each person issued a permit, including a renewal, under s. 125.27
or 125.51 (5)
. The department shall provide the booklet for a charge not to exceed cost, as provided under s. 20.908
, to municipalities.
A municipality shall provide a copy of the booklet under sub. (1)
to each person issued a license, including a renewal, under s. 125.17
or 125.51 (1)
by the municipality unless the municipality requires the person to complete an instructional program which includes the subject matter of the booklet or unless the person completes the program under s. 125.04 (5) (a) 5.
or 125.17 (6)
. This section does not preclude a municipality from charging a fee for such a program. A municipality may charge for the booklet in an amount not to exceed the amount charged by the department under sub. (2)
Local option; remonstrances. 125.05(1)
Electors of any municipality may determine, by ballot at the election held on the first Tuesday in April, the questions of whether the municipality shall issue retail licenses for the sale of fermented malt beverages or intoxicating liquor or whether a retail store operated by the municipality shall cease operation.
The following questions may be submitted to the electors:
"Shall Class `B' licenses (taverns, hotels, restaurants, clubs, societies, lodges, fair associations, etc.) be issued for the retail sale of beer for consumption on or off the premises where sold?"
"Shall Class `A' licenses (stores, etc.) be issued for the retail sale of beer in original packages to be consumed away from the premises where sold?"
"Shall `Class B' licenses (taverns, restaurants, hotels, etc.) be issued for the retail sale of intoxicating liquor for consumption on the premises where sold?"
"Shall `Class C' licenses (restaurants) be issued for the retail sale of wine for consumption on the premises where sold?"
"Shall `Class A' licenses (stores, etc.) be issued for the retail sale of intoxicating liquor in original packages to be consumed away from the premises where sold?"
In the case where a municipal store is operating under s. 176.08
, 1967 stats., "Against liquor store?"
The following procedure shall govern the election under this subsection:
A written petition shall be circulated requesting that the question be submitted to the electors of the municipality affected by the question. A separate petition for each question shall be circulated. The contents of the petition shall be governed by s. 8.40
Petitions shall be circulated by qualified electors who reside within the municipality affected by the question. No petition may be circulated prior to 60 days before the date required for filing.
No signature on the petition may be counted unless it was written and dated within 60 days prior to the date required for filing.
Petitions shall be signed by a number of qualified electors within the municipality affected by the question equal to at least 15% of the number of votes cast for governor in the affected municipality at the last general election.
The petition shall be filed with the clerk of the municipality at least 70 days prior to the first Tuesday of April.
Within 5 days after the petition is filed, the clerk shall determine the sufficiency of the petition, and shall state the finding in a certificate signed by the clerk, dated and attached to the petition.
After the conditions of subd. 6.
are satisfied, the clerk shall promptly order that each question stated in a petition found to be sufficient shall be submitted to the electors at the election to be held on the first Tuesday of April following the date of the order.
City clerks shall give notice of the election as provided in ch. 10
for notice of a regular city election. Village and town clerks shall give notice of the election by posting written or printed notices in at least 5 public places in the village or town not less than 10 days prior to the election.
The election on any question shall be conducted in the same manner as other elections are conducted in the municipality. The canvassers shall determine and immediately certify the results of the election.
Term of election results.
The result of an election under par. (b)
shall remain in effect for 2 years and thereafter unless changed at another election on the question, except that a vote to discontinue operation of a municipal store may not be changed at another election.
If the election results prohibit the retail sale of fermented malt beverages, the department shall include as a condition of any wholesaler's permit issued under s. 125.28
for a premises within the municipality that the wholesaler may not sell or deliver fermented malt beverages within the municipality to any person residing therein.
In this subsection, "residence district" means any clearly described compact, contiguous territory in any municipality bounded by corporation or ward lines, public streets, public roads, public alleys or water courses, in which not less than 100 and not more than 750 qualified electors reside.
No previous licenses.
A residence district may be created in a municipality which has not previously issued a license to sell intoxicating liquor in the residence district if a majority of the district's electors sign and file with the municipal clerk on or before May 1 in any year a written remonstrance describing the boundaries of the residence district and stating that no license may be issued within the district.
A residence district may be created in a municipality which has previously issued a license to sell intoxicating liquor in the residence district if a majority of the district's electors sign and file with the municipal clerk not earlier than May 1 nor later than May 15 in any year, a written remonstrance describing the boundaries of the residence district and stating that no licenses may be issued within the district.
Limits on district.
The greatest length of a residence district may not be more than 4 times its narrowest width. No part of any one residence district once created by the electors may be used to create another residence district. A residence district or part thereof in which licenses may not be issued may not be used to create another residence district. Property occupied exclusively for educational, religious or charitable purposes and public parks in residence districts may be included in residence districts as residence property, but shall not be used in determining the boundaries or size of any such district.
Restrictions on licenses in residence districts.
No license to sell intoxicating liquor may be issued in a residence district created under par. (b)
after a remonstrance is filed except:
Licenses may be issued for specific locations within a residence district under par. (b)
if a majority of the electors in the district sign and file with the municipal clerk written consent for the issuance of licenses for the specific locations.
Licenses may be issued in residence districts created under par. (c)
if a majority of the electors in the district sign and file with the municipal clerk a counter petition stating that licenses may be issued in that district.
The prohibition on the issuance of licenses within a residence district does not apply to:
The frontage of that side of any street or road between intersecting streets or roads in any city, village or town upon which one-third of the lineal feet of the property abutting thereon is devoted to or used for a commercial, mercantile, manufacturing or other business purpose.
The street or road frontage on either side of such street or road if one-third of the lineal feet of property abutting on both sides thereof between intersecting streets or roads is so used.
The frontage on either or both sides of a highway in towns or unincorporated villages within a distance of 400 feet if one-third of the lineal feet of the property abutting upon the highway within that distance is so used.
Actual and bona fide hotels maintaining, in 1st class cities, 50 or more sleeping rooms for the accommodation of transient guests; in 2nd class cities, 25 or more such rooms; in 3rd class cities, 18 or more such rooms; and in 4th class cities, 10 or more such rooms.
Documents; signatures and circulation.
The electors signing a remonstrance, consent or counter petition under par. (b)
shall subscribe to the document their names together with, in cities and villages, the street or lot and block numbers of their residences and, in towns, the quarter-section numbers of their residences. Each elector shall sign the document before a resident of the district who is circulating it. Each person circulating a document shall file an affidavit that each signer is a qualified elector of the residence district referred to in the document and that the signers' names and addresses on the document are genuine. No elector may sign more than one remonstrance or counter petition affecting the elector's residence district. The documents may be separate. Any number of persons may circulate the documents.