General restrictions and requirements.
Restrictions on dealings between brewers, wholesalers and retailers.
Retail licenses and permits.
Manufacturers' and rectifiers' permits.
Out-of-state shippers' permit; exception to requirement.
Wholesale alcohol permit.
Medicinal alcohol permit.
Industrial alcohol permit.
Industrial wine permit.
Permit to solicit for future sales.
Sale without license; failure to obtain permit; penalties.
Evading provisions of law by giving away intoxicating liquor; penalties.
General restrictions and requirements.
Restrictions on dealings between manufacturers, rectifiers, wholesalers and retailers.
Trade show samples.
Ch. 125 Note
NOTE: Chapter 79, laws of 1981
, which created this chapter of the statutes, contains extensive notes explaining the revisions. See the 1981 Session Laws.
This chapter shall be construed as an enactment of statewide concern for the purpose of providing a uniform regulation of the sale of alcohol beverages.
History: 1981 c. 79
State liquor laws, including licensing requirements, are applicable to liquor establishments owned or operated by either tribe members or non-Indians, and located on Indian reservations. Any license issued counts toward the local quota. 75 Atty. Gen. 123
Indian tribes are within coverage of this chapter; any license issued to tribe counts toward local quota. 76 Atty. Gen. 80
Except as otherwise provided, in this chapter:
"Alcohol beverages" means fermented malt beverages and intoxicating liquor.
"Brewer" means any person who manufactures fermented malt beverages for sale or transportation.
"Brewery premises" means all land and buildings used in the manufacture or sale of fermented malt beverages at a brewer's principal place of business.
"Club" means an organization, whether incorporated or not, which is the owner, lessee or occupant of a building or portion thereof used exclusively for club purposes, which is operated solely for a recreational, fraternal, social, patriotic, political, benevolent or athletic purpose but not for pecuniary gain and which only sells alcohol beverages incidental to its operation.
"Department" means the department of revenue.
"Fermented malt beverages" means any beverage made by the alcohol fermentation of an infusion in potable water of barley malt and hops, with or without unmalted grains or decorticated and degerminated grains or sugar containing 0.5% or more of alcohol by volume.
"Hotel" means a hotel, as defined in s. 254.61 (3)
, that is provided with a restaurant.
"Intoxicating liquor" means all ardent, spirituous, distilled or vinous liquors, liquids or compounds, whether medicated, proprietary, patented or not, and by whatever name called, containing 0.5% or more of alcohol by volume, which are beverages, but does not include "fermented malt beverages".
"Legal drinking age" means 21 years of age.
"License" means an authorization to sell alcohol beverages issued by a municipal governing body under this chapter.
"Manufacturer" means a person, other than a rectifier, that ferments, manufactures or distills intoxicating liquor.
"Municipality" means a city, village or town.
"Peace officer" means a sheriff, undersheriff, deputy sheriff, police officer, constable, marshal, deputy marshal or any employe of the department or of the department of justice authorized to act under this chapter.
"Permit" means any permit issued by the department under this chapter.
"Person" means a natural person, sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, corporation or association.
"Premises" means the area described in a license or permit.
"Primary source of supply" means the manufacturer, the rectifier or the exclusive agent designated by the manufacturer or rectifier.
"Principal business" means the primary activity as determined by analyzing the amount of capital, labor, time, attention and floor space devoted to each business activity and by analyzing the sources of net income and gross income. The name, appearance and advertising of the entity may also be taken into consideration if they are given less weight.
"Rectifier" means any one of the following:
A person that rectifies, purifies or refines distilled spirits or wines by any process other than by original and continuous distillation from mash, wort or wash, through continuous closed vessels or pipes, until the manufacture thereof is complete.
A person who possesses any still or leach tub or keeps any other apparatus for refining distilled spirits.
A person who after rectifying and purifying distilled spirits, by mixing such spirits with any materials, manufactures any spurious, imitation or compound liquors for sale.
A distiller or any person under substantially the same control as a distiller who, without rectifying, purifying or refining distilled spirits, by mixing such spirits with any materials, manufactures any spurious, imitation or compound liquors for sale under the name of "whiskey", "brandy", "gin", "rum", "spirits", "cordials" or any other name.
A person who places intoxicating liquor in bottles or other containers.
"Regulation" means any rule or ordinance adopted by a municipal governing body.
"Retailer" means any person who sells, or offers for sale, any alcohol beverages to any person other than a person holding a permit or a license under this chapter.
"Sell", "sold", "sale" or "selling" means any transfer of alcohol beverages with consideration or any transfer without consideration if knowingly made for purposes of evading the law relating to the sale of alcohol beverages or any shift, device, scheme or transaction for obtaining alcohol beverages, including the solicitation of orders for, or the sale for future delivery of, alcohol beverages.
"Underage person" means a person who has not attained the legal drinking age.
"Wholesaler" means a person, other than a brewer, manufacturer or rectifier, who sells alcohol beverages to a licensed retailer or to another person who holds a permit or license to sell alcohol beverages at wholesale.
"Wine" means products obtained from the normal alcohol fermentation of the juice or must of sound, ripe grapes, other fruits or other agricultural products, imitation wine, compounds sold as wine, vermouth, cider, perry, mead and sake, if such products contain 0.5% or more of alcohol by volume.
Country clubs opening any part of their facilities to the general public lose their eligibility for "country club" liquor or beer licenses. 69 Atty. Gen. 248.
Department rule making. 125.03(1)
The department, in furtherance of effective control, may promulgate rules consistent with this chapter and ch. 139
The department may by rule prescribe the standard size, form or character of any container in which intoxicating liquor may be sold in this state except that the department may not set the size of containers in which intoxicating liquor, except wine containing not more than 21% of alcohol by volume, may be sold at a capacity greater than 1.75 liters (59.1752 fluid ounces).
No person may violate a rule promulgated under sub. (1)
History: 1981 c. 79
, 1989 a. 253
Civil liability exemption: furnishing alcohol beverages. 125.035(2)
A person is immune from civil liability arising out of the act of procuring alcohol beverages for or selling, dispensing or giving away alcohol beverages to another person.
(3) Subsection (2)
does not apply if the person procuring, selling, dispensing or giving away alcohol beverages causes their consumption by force or by representing that the beverages contain no alcohol.
In this subsection, "provider" means a person, including a licensee or permittee, who procures alcohol beverages for or sells, dispenses or gives away alcohol beverages to an underage person in violation of s. 125.07 (1) (a)
(b) Subsection (2)
does not apply if the provider knew or should have known that the underage person was under the legal drinking age and if the alcohol beverages provided to the underage person were a substantial factor in causing injury to a 3rd party. In determining whether a provider knew or should have known that the underage person was under the legal drinking age, all relevant circumstances surrounding the procuring, selling, dispensing or giving away of the alcohol beverages may be considered, including any circumstance under subds. 1.
In addition, sub. (2)
does apply if all of the following occur:
The underage person falsely represents that he or she has attained the legal drinking age.
The underage person supports the representation with documentation that he or she has attained the legal drinking age.
The alcohol beverages are provided in good faith reliance on the underage person's representation that he or she has attained the legal drinking age.
The appearance of the underage person is such that an ordinary and prudent person would believe that he or she had attained the legal drinking age.
(5) Subsection (2)
does not apply to civil forfeiture actions for violation of any provision of this chapter or any local ordinance in conformity with any provision of this chapter.
History: 1985 a. 47
Sub. (4) (b) applies only to third-party actions; it does not provide cause of action against provider by minor plaintiff whose injuries stem in part from personal alcohol consumption. Kwiatkowski v. Capitol Indemnity Corp. 157 W (2d) 768, 461 NW (2d) 150 (Ct. App. 1990).
Whether an alleged activity arising out of the act of procuring alcohol is a tort itself, a conspiracy to commit a tort or aiding and abetting it, this section provides immunity. Greene v. Farnsworth, 188 W (2d) 365, 525 NW (2d) 107 (Ct. App. 1994).
The distinction this statute draws between providers of alcohol to underage and other drinkers does not violate the constitutional guarantees of equal protection. Doering v. WEA Ins. Group, 193 W (2d) 118, 532 NW (2d) 432 (1995).
Liquor Vendors and Social Hosts: Are They Immune From Civil Liability? Chapin. Wis. Law. Dec. 1992.
Liquor Vendors and Social Hosts: Are They Still Immune from Serving Adults? Chapin. Wis. Law. Dec. 1995.
Civil liability exemption for municipalities.
No municipality, as defined in s. 67.01 (5)
, or municipal governing body, committee, official or employe is civilly liable for damage to any person or property caused by the consumption of alcohol beverages by that person or any other person, by reason of any of the following:
Issuing a license to sell alcohol beverages.