Vol. 36 Iss. 4 - October 14, 2019

Chapter 50
Final Regulation

Title of Regulation: 3VAC5-50. Retail Operations (amending 3VAC5-50-160).

Statutory Authority: ยงยง 4.1-103 and 4.1-111 of the Code of Virginia.

Effective Date: November 15, 2019.

Agency Contact: LaTonya D. Hucks-Watkins, Legal Liaison, Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, 2901 Hermitage Road, Richmond, VA 23220, telephone (804) 213-4698, FAX (804) 213-4574, or email


The amendments (i) permit advertising of happy hour provided the advertisement does not tend to induce minors or other individuals who cannot legally drink to drink or to encourage persons to drink in excess, (ii) remove superfluous provisions that appear in other authority regulations, and (iii) add a reminder that the regulation is subject to and shall be adhered to in a manner consistent with all other authority regulations.

Summary of Public Comments and Agency's Response: No public comments were received by the promulgating agency.

3VAC5-50-160. Happy hour and related promotions; definitions; exceptions.

A. Definitions. The following words and terms when used in this section shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

1. "Happy hour" means a specified period of time during which alcoholic beverages are sold at prices reduced from the customary price established by a retail licensee.

2. "Drink" means any beverage containing the amount of alcoholic beverages customarily served to a patron as a single serving by a retail licensee.

B. A licensee may advertise its happy hour so long as the advertising does not tend to induce minors or other interdicted individuals to drink or encourage persons to consume to excess.

C. No retail licensee shall engage in any of the following practices:

1. Conducting a happy hour between 9 p.m. of each day and 2 a.m. of the following day;

2. Allowing a person to possess more than two drinks at any one time during a happy hour, with the exception of flights of wine and beer consisting of samples of not more than five different wines or beers or samples of five different distilled spirits products provided each distilled spirits sample contains no more than one-half ounce of distilled spirits;

3. 2. Increasing the volume of alcoholic beverages contained in a drink without increasing proportionately the customary or established retail price charged for such drink;

4. 3. Selling two or more drinks for one price, such as "two for one" or "three for one";

5. Selling pitchers of mixed beverages except in accordance with 3VAC5-50-60;

6. Giving away drinks;

7. 4. Selling an unlimited number of drinks for one price, such as "all you can drink for $5.00"; 8. Advertising happy hour anywhere other than within the interior of the licensed premises, except that a licensee may use the term "Happy Hour" or "Drink Specials," a list of the alcoholic beverage products featured during a happy hour as well as the time period within which alcoholic beverages are being sold at reduced prices in any otherwise lawful advertisement; or

9. 5. Establishing a customary retail price for any drink at a markup over cost significantly less than that applied to other beverages of similar type, quality, or volume.

C. D. This regulation section shall not apply to prearranged private parties, functions, or events, not open to the public, where the guests thereof are served in a room [ or rooms ] designated and used exclusively for private parties, functions, or events.

E. This section is subject to and shall be adhered to in a manner consistent with all other regulations of the authority.

VA.R. Doc. No. R19-5585; Filed September 18, 2019, 11:53 a.m.