Liquor Licence Amendment In Operation Today

May 13, 2019

The Liquor Licence Amendment Act 2019 comes into operation today [May 13] Attorney General Kathy Lynn Simmons said, with the amendments to the law including the “creation of a single streamlined Liquor Licensing Authority comprised of 5 members as opposed to 10″ and the creation of a new classes of permits and licences.

Joining the Minister at today’s press conference was Mr. Stephen Todd, CEO Bermuda Hotel Association/Hotel Employers of Bermuda, who said, “The Association’s support of the amendments to enhance our ability as a destination to meet and exceed services and amenities of our future visitors.”

Speaking at the press conference the Government called this afternoon, Attorney-General Simmons said, “I am pleased to announce that the Liquor Licence Amendment Act 2019 comes into operation today to usher in much needed reform to modernize Bermuda’s liquor licensing regime.

“The amendments represent the first comprehensive legislative overhaul toward modernizing Bermuda’s liquor licensing regime since it was first established approximately 45 years ago.

“In reforming the liquor licensing laws, the Government sought to balance protecting the community from the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption with the evolving needs of entrepreneurs to provide this amenity to their adult customers with fewer administrative impediments.

Kathy Lynn Simmons & Stephen Todd Bermuda May 29019

“The ongoing modernization of liquor licencing laws ensures reforms that serve the interest of the community while enabling the Liquor Licencing Authority to make decisions within a clearly defined set of criteria in a timely manner.

“The amendments to the law include:

  • Creation of a single streamlined Liquor Licensing Authority comprised of 5 members as opposed to 10. This replaces the predominantly geographical focus of the previous 3 Licensing Authorities with three members for each of three districts, plus a predetermined Chair. The membership will now represent various professional backgrounds and sectors of the economy such as law, security, drug treatment, prevention or social work, hospitality, and retail. These varying backgrounds ensure all viewpoints and stakeholders are factored into their decisions to more effectively safeguard the interests of society.

“In addition to reforming the governance structure, other measures include:

  • Creation of a new class of permit for restaurants offering catering services;
  • Creation of new classes of licence in relation to itinerant restaurants and special events;
  • Creation of a special event licence for private, non-profit events; public events for profit; or non-profit events held to promote a product through sampling such as wine tasting. This will enable more entrepreneurs to potentially participate and provide innovative and creative events for both locals and our visitors;
  • Provisions for fees for the new classes of licence;
  • Update of fees and fines for existing licences and offences respectively; and
  • Additional provisions for inspectors to be appointed to ensure enforcement. The new inspection regime makes provision for collaboration between duly appointed persons and the Bermuda Police Service to ensure that the terms and conditions upon which licences are granted are upheld. These measures demonstrate the heightened priority placed upon compliance and enforcement.

“As a complement to these measures, provision is made for the Minister to issue guidance to assist the public in understanding each class of licence and further streamline the application process.

“Our reform of the Liquor Licensing law took into consideration recommendations of the Senior Magistrate as former Chairman of the Liquor Licensing Authorities, social and legal concerns as well as commercial interests. The amendments further reflect modern practices regarding alcohol sale, consumption and regulation.

“We wish to thank the various stakeholders for their engagement in the process of modernizing local liquor licensing laws. The result is a streamlined process that lessen delays of applications that are submitted by the required due date.

“We are confident that with the cumulative effect of these measures, Bermuda will compare favorably to other jurisdictions. Most importantly we will be better equipped to address today’s complexities posed by the challenges of ensuring responsible sale and consumption of alcohol whilst promoting economic advancement of existing and new business.”

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Comments (13)

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  1. sage says:

    Free the safer alternative, with few administrative impediments.

  2. Moving Bermuda Forward says:

    Harbour nights should be the first test.
    Clearly this event which brings together Bermudiana, residents and tourists in a positive, festive and early evening event, lends itself to being able to have a beer or a glass of wine while supporting this well run weekly event.
    It’s quite unbelievable that this has not happened at such a natural lfestive Bermudian event.
    It is completely accepted all over the world that controlled, well run events such as Harbour nights can serve beer and wine to its patrons.
    Bermuda needs to compete and cater to its customers or be left behind.

    • sage says:

      So a “family friendly” function, where loads of children go, on a street lined with open bars from one end to the other, needs to serve liquor in the street? You need help.

      • Jus' Wonderin' says:

        Same exact scenario happens when you go to the beach for holidays, etc or to a cousin’s or family BBQ. All you lame people need to go somewhere else. Same thing as having a beer on the boardwalk in Florida or NY or something….LAY TF DOWN!!

        • sage says:

          Training the youth to follow lock-step with your folly? Drinking in public was illegal for a reason but it is only enforced against the homeless anyway. Shut TF up.

          • LaV says:

            “Shut TF up.”

            The typical ignorant cry of the bermudian racist.

          • Jus' Wonderin' says:

            On a real though…your comment just sums up why the old herd is still running Bermuda and it shows. As a youth growing up our parents gave us samples of alcohol so what different is this?! Allowing a tourist or a responsible Bermudian to have a beer or margherita on harbour nights is your biggest worry! You should shut TF up with your old a%$ and lay down. It’s enforced against anyone, you walk down front street with a beer and see what happens! YOU TEACH YOUR YOUTH that it’s not ok to have alcohol until 18…regardless they’re going to do it anyways. If you want to drink heavily go into a bar on front street. FREE UP a little bra! Nothing wrong with a drink or two at harbour nights. We as a people (obviously not you as I know you’re not Bermudian) drink at everything else anyways….lay down

            • sage says:

              Since everyone is making assumptions, I think your peeps gave you a few too many samples in your youth. So before wet brain sets in fully, take this from a racist foreigner, you need to stand up.

  3. Joe Bloggs says:

    “In reforming the liquor licensing laws, the Government sought to balance protecting the community from the dangers of excessive alcohol consumption with the evolving needs of entrepreneurs to provide this amenity to their adult customers with fewer administrative impediments.“

    And remove any independence from the panel

  4. aceboy says:

    No mention of who is a member of this new Authority. No doubt the head of it has a last name beginning with an S and ending with an i.

  5. Devonshire Bermudian says:

    With a very expensive Government Information Department why do the change in liquor licences have to be announced from the Rec???

  6. rodney smith says:

    What the Minister has failed to tell us are the dangers to the community from the increase in sales of alcohol . Where is the Senior Magistrate in all of this ? Has he been removed as Chairman ? It would almost seem fitting since he has been cracking down on those that broke the law . Remove the Judge and we will have a free hand at things . This will not end well for the average Bermudian .In the end , we have too many outlets selling alcohol .Will a few more hurt anything ? You be the Judge .

    • Joe Bloggs says:

      As I said “And remove any independence from the panel”