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AL: Alabama House passes bill to allow food trucks to sell alcohol

AL: Alabama House passes bill to allow food trucks to sell alcohol

By Shauna Stuart
February 17, 2022

Food trucks in Alabama will be able to sell alcoholic beverages under a bill passed Wednesday by the Alabama House of Representatives.

Sponsored by Rep. Neil Rafferty, D-Birmingham, the bill would allow food trucks to apply for permits to sell alcoholic beverages in designated “entertainment districts” or areas where patrons are permitted to have open containers of alcohol. The entertainment districts must be in Class 1 municipalities, or cities with a population of at least 300,000 people.

The bill, H.B. 234, would allow food trucks to apply for “on premise” alcohol licenses from the Alabama Alcohol Beverage Control Board. The bill would also set up provisions to allow the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control board to establish a food truck license fee of $300.

The bill initially proposed legislation that would allow food trucks to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption within “a defined boundary in the vicinity of the food truck.” Raffety later offered an amendment with language specifying those boundaries to be within established entertainment districts. The amendment also increased the initial cost of the application fee from $150 to $300.

The amended bill passed the House by a vote of 75-18 with 9 abstentions. The bill, which is currently in the Senate, has been referred to the committee on tourism.

On Wednesday, Rafferty celebrated the advancement of the bill with a post on his Facebook page.

House Bill 234 is another victory for lawmakers who are introducing alcohol legislation this year. Last week, the House passed a bill to allow retailers to sell beer and wine from a drive-through or walk-up window. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Gil Isbell, R-Gadsden, is also in the Senate committee on tourism.

Both bills follow a productive session for alcohol legislation in 2021, including the passage of new laws to allow home delivery of liquor, beer, and wine, roll back limits on liquor and beer to-go sales, and allow Alabama winemakers to host their own festivals.