Important deadline and new rules for “New Year’s Eve” events!

Establishments that have an on-premises license are bound by the county rules that dictate hours of operation. There are certain exceptions to this rule, New Year’s Eve being the most common example. If you want to extend your hours of operation for a New Year’s Eve event, you must apply for a special permit through the New York State Liquor Authority by November 16, 2012.

The SLA has issued new rules concerning the application process for these permits (commonly referred to as “all night” or New Year’s Eve” permits). These permits allow retail on-premises licenses to continuing serving alcoholic beverages after 4 am (or earlier in some counties).

The new rules provide as follows:

  • Applications for these permits (special even permit application SEP1011) must be filed at least 45 days in advance. Friday, November 16 is conservatively the last day you should file to meet the deadline. We strongly encourage you to apply at least 7 days prior to this date (November 11th) in case there is an issue and your application is returned for re-filing.
  • The application must be mailed to New York State Liquor Authority, PO Box 3796, New York, NY 10008-3796. Applications will not be accepted in person at the Zone Offices. This is part of the new lock box program for applications requiring payments.
  • Notice of the licensee’s intent to apply for the permit must be sent to the local police department or, if there is no local police department, to the County Sheriff’s Department. The licensee must include with the application proof that this notice was mailed. Acceptable proof is either (1) a copy of the notice and a certified mail receipt card or (2) the original, or a copy of the notice stamped and signed by the police department.
  • In deciding whether to issue a permit to a licensee, the SLA will consider the licensee’s disciplinary history (including pending charges) and whether the licensee has adequate facilities and security plans for the event it is planning.
  • The permit must be displayed in a conspicuous place where the event is held.
  • The fee is $61 per point of sale per day.

It is important to get an early start on the application, as you will have to include other documentation (the notice to the police department, diagrams, security plans, etc.). Certain circumstances require additional notifications, permits, and approvals, and copies of these would also need to be included in the application packet.

Failure to provide adequate and accurate information on time can result in a denial of your permit and consequently, a serious damper on your plans and expected revenue for the holiday.