MI: Michigan House approves use of self-serve beer, wine and mixed drink dispensers
By Ryan Jeltema
February 17, 2022
LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) – Michigan bars and taverns would be allowed to use new self-serve alcoholic beverage dispensers under a bill that passed the State House on Thursday.
Republican State Rep. Rodney Wakeman of Saginaw Township sponsored House Bill 5304, which would allow for machines that dispense and track alcohol served in limited quantities.
Patrons would have to scan a personal card or wristband at the machine to track how much alcohol they receive. The identification would allow the machine to verify they are of legal age to consume alcohol.
Machines would be limited to serving each patron 16 ounces of beer or 12 ounces of wine and mixed drinks at a time until they reach a total of 32 ounces. The machines could not dispense shots of liquor.
“This technology is safe,” Wakeman said. “Bars and restaurants in nearly every other state utilize it.”
He said the technology is common in other states and especially popular in the craft beer industry, where patrons often want to sample small amounts of several varieties.
“It is also a great option for bars and restaurants struggling with staffing shortages — as they all are right now,” Wakeman said.
Michigan law allows limited self-serve alcohol, but it has to be a pitcher of beer or tabletop tap brought to a table by an employee of the business.
House Bill 5304 now advances to the Senate for further consideration. If approved there, it would go to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to decide whether to sign it into law.