Liquor code and regulations are complicated but it’s crucially important that you understand how to comply with the rules.

The guides and resources below will help get you started.

Legal Advice

The CRA provides free, limited legal advice through our Legal Resource Center. This compilation of resources includes a network of member attorneys, labor law and compliance posters, educational programs, and other tools and information to help keep your business in compliance. If you need advice outside of what is offered in the Legal Resource Center online, please call (303) 830-2972 or email FirstCall@corestaurant.org to request further help.

Liquor Compliance Guides & Fact Sheets

ID Checking Guide Book
Current Colorado Liquor Licensing Handbook
Most Common Liquor License Violations

Alcohol To Go

HB21-1027, which passed during the 2021 Legislative Session, permits restaurants to sell alcohol for takeout and delivery through July 1, 2025 and allows for the continued use of communal outdoor dining areas on a permanent basis. Here’s what this means for restaurants:

How much alcohol can I sell?

(Please note that the limits below are not currently in effect as of May 2022, as Colorado remains under a declared state of emergency. The limits will go into effect when there are no longer any state of emergency orders relating to the pandemic. Until then, restaurants can sell any amount of alcohol to go as long as operators follow all other rules and regulations.)

HB21-1027 prescribes specific limits on the amount of alcohol a restaurant can sell per transaction. Those limits are:

  • Two 750-ml bottles of wine
  • Two six packs of beer (not to exceed 144 fluid ounces total)
  • One liter of spirits (approximately 33.8 fluid ounces)

Practically speaking, this means that a customer can come in and order two entrées, a bottle of wine, and two cocktails to go under this legislation. Or, a customer can come in and order two entréesand two bottles of wine on one transaction, close that transaction, and then order another bottle of wine on a separate transaction and still be in compliance.

For batched cocktails and individual cocktails to go, only the fluid ounces of spirits/liquor count toward the liter cap. Meaning, any mixer, soda, or other non-alcohol fluids that are included in the cocktail do not count toward the limit – which can result in more than 1 liter of total cocktail being sold per transaction so long as there is no more than approximately 33.8 fluid ounces of spirits in the batched cocktail being sold.

How can I sell it?

In order to sell cocktails for takeout and delivery, you must provide an approved container. All containers must comply with the following:

  • The container must be rigid.
  • The container cannot be made of paper or polystyrene foam.
  • The lid or cap on the container must be designed to prevent consumption without the removal of the lid or cap.
  • Containers must be sealed in a way that is “tamper evident” in order to tell if the container has been opened.
  • The lid of the container can have a straw or sipping hole only if the hole is covered with a “tamper evident” seal or sticker. Masking tape, scotch tape, or a sticker that is not designed to be “tamper evident” is not an acceptable covering for a straw or sipping hole.
  • All takeout and delivery orders shall be affixed with a label containing a warning statement, with a minimum fourteen (14) font size, stating: “WARNING: DO NOT OPEN OR REMOVE SEAL WHILE IN TRANSIT. Purchasers are subject to state and local law prohibiting drinking or possessing open containers of alcoholic beverages in motor vehicles, including section 42-4-1395, C.R.S”. It does not matter if the warning label is adhesive and affixed to the container or is physically printed on the container as long as the information is clearly visible.
    • The warning label is not the same thing as a “tamper evident” seal or sticker.
  • Beverages sold in plastic bags or baggies are not allowed.
  • Full, manufacturer-sealed bottles of beer, wine, and spirits are approved containers.

When can I sell it?

Alcohol takeout and delivery services from restaurants may only be performed between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and midnight.

How can I deliver it?

  • For delivery orders, the individuals placing the order must be 21 years of age or older, and must provide their name, date of birth, and delivery address.
  • This information must be verified upon delivery.
  • Deliveries may only be made to the address provided at the time of the order.
  • Persons making the delivery must be 21 years of age or older and must be an employee of the licensee.
  • Third-party delivery companies cannot deliver alcohol from restaurants – all restaurant alcohol deliveries must be done by an employee of the business.
    Licensees must retain all records regarding the delivery of alcohol beverages.

How can I offer takeout and curbside pickup?

You are required to check customer identification when selling alcohol for takeout or curbside pickup, but you do not need to collect and maintain that information as you do with delivery. Curbside pickup is allowed in designated areas outside the licensed premise, not to exceed 150 feet from the licensed premise.

How can I sign up?

The required takeout and delivery alcohol permit is now available and can be accessed following this link. There is an $11 fee for this required permit to sustain the ongoing costs of administering the takeout and delivery program.

How can I take advantage of Communal Outdoor Dining Areas?

HB21-1027 allows two or more eligible licensees or businesses to share an outdoor space that is used for food and alcohol service. All participating licensees must obtain a permit from their local licensing authority and the state Liquor Enforcement Division. Communal Outdoor Dining Areas must be within 1,000 feet from the permanent licensed premises of each of the licenses attached to the dining area using a direct measurement.

Communal Outdoor Dining Areas are not Common Consumption Areas and will have different application and enforcement considerations. Please note that the state is still conducting stakeholder engagement and rulemaking regarding Communal Outdoor Dining Areas, so further guidance and information will be forthcoming.

Alcohol to Go Warning Stickers
Alcohol To Go Compliance Fact Sheet
Posters and Signage

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Restaurant Compliance FAQs

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