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  The ILCC Legal Division

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Transfer of Alcohol

I. Purpose

It is policy to establish guidelines in determining when a licensed Illinois retailer may transfer alcohol from its premises to that of anothe premises or retailer.

II. Policy

It is the policy of the Illinois Liquor Control Commission (ILCC) to allow a transfer of alcohol from one retail premises to another retail premises only in exceptional situations.

III. Background

Section 100.250 of the Rules and Regulations of the ILCC prohibits a retail licensee to transfer alcohol off its licensed premises to another retail licensed premises. However, the ILCC believes that a licensee may transfer alcohol in certain situations. These situations relate to business transactions which occur outside the ordinary course of a licensee’s business.

Section 100.250 Transfer of Alcohol: The holder of a retail license for the privilege of selling alcoholic liquors at retail on the premises specified in the license, for use or consumption, is hereby restricted to such sale from the licensed premises only and is not permitted to sell to, purchase from or transfer such alcoholic liquor to any other retail licensee or licensed premises. This Section does not apply to transactions not in the ordinary course of business, such as a business closure, if prior approval is given by the Commission. (Source: Amended at 23 Ill. Reg. 3787, effective March 15, 1999)

IV. Procedures

  1. Permissible transfers include the following:
    1. the licensee either sells or closes his or her business and wishes to transfer any remaining liquor inventory; or
    2. miscellaneous circumstances in which a transfer is authorized by the ILCC.
  2. Before a licensee may enter into a permissible transfer, the licensee must inform the ILCC in writing of the following:
    1. the seller’s licensed premises location;
    2. the seller’s license number;
    3. the buyer’s licensed premises location;
    4. the buyer’s license number; and
    5. the inventory being purchased, including type of liquor and quantity of items.
  3. All transfers must be approved by the Executive Director or appropriate designee.
  4. The buyer must keep a copy of the written document sent to the ILCC on his or her licensed premises in order to show where the liquor was purchased.
  5. The buyer must keep a copy of the written document sent to the ILCC on his or her licensed premises for a period of ninety (90) days.

V. Other - Approval of “alternate delivery sites” for retail licensees

The question of the power of the Commission to approve alternate delivery sites for retail licensees must be answered by reference to the Liquor Control Act, Rules and Regulations, and then the Commission’s inherent power to manage an orderly system of alcoholic beverage manufacture, delivery and sale. This issue was raised legislatively with H.B.137, introduced 1/12/99, which sought to amend the Liquor Control Act to provide for minimum delivery intervals and purchase amounts, and to establish “alternative delivery” sites.

The bill, as originally presented, contained the following language: “If a retailer does not wish to accept delivery at its retail establishment, the retailer may designate an alternate site within the distributor’s geographic area to which the distributor must make delivery if that site has been approved in advance by the State Commission.”

Senate Amendment No. 1. deleted the above provision authorizing a retailer to designate an alternative delivery site and substituted the county-based system which ultimately became law.

The law as passed and signed by the Governor failed to contain any reference to the “alternate delivery site.”

Since it is for the legislature and the courts to state the public policy of the State of Illinois, the public policy in the area of “alternative delivery sites” is that they are not allowed. It is neither within the designated, or inherent, powers of the Liquor Control Commission to set public policy. Since an administrative agency is a creature of statute, any power or authority claimed by the agency must find its source within the provisions of the statute by which it is created. Granite City Division of National Steel Co. v. Illinois Pollution Control Board, 155 Ill. 2d 149, 171, 613 N.E.2d 719, 729 (1993). Agency interpretations of statutes are not binding on the courts, and we must overturn any agency action that is inconsistent with the statute. Carson Pirie Scott & Co. v. State of Illinois Department of Employment Security, 131 Ill. 2d 23, 34, 544 N.E.2d 772, 777 (1989).

The fundamental principle of statutory construction is to ascertain and give effect to the intent of the legislature. Bowne of Chicago, Inc. v. Human Rights Comm'n, 301 Ill. App. 3d 116, 119, 703 N.E.2d 443, 446 (1998). The most reliable indicator of legislative intent is the statute's language, which must be given its plain and ordinary meaning. Boaden v. Department of Law Enforcement, 171 Ill. 2d 230, 237, 664 N.E.2d 61, 65 (1996).

In Gilchrist v. Human Rights Commission, No. 1-99-1054, 1st District, March 27, 2000, the Appellate Court held that Section 8A-102 of the Human rights Act did not confer upon the Commission the authority to allow an Administrative Law Judge, other than the presiding ALJ, to author the findings and recommended order merely because the parties agree by stipulation to such action. To the extent that the Commission determined that the parties' agreement alone satisfied the requirements of the statute, that determination was erroneous. An erroneous construction of a statute by an administrative agency is not binding on a reviewing court, and even a reviewing court's deference to administrative expertise does not serve to license a governmental agency to expand the operation of a statute. Boaden, supra.

The Court further held that the Commission exceeded its authority in deciding the case in the manner it did, and therefore the cause was remanded so that the matter may be reset for another full hearing. The Court was not unmindful of the fact that its decision prolonged the ultimate resolution of the Petitioner's case, but, even in instances where an administrative body has discretion in its decision, whenever it must choose between justice and speed, it must pick the side of justice. Six-Brothers King Drive Supermarket, Inc. v. Department of Revenue, 192 Ill. App. 3d 976, 984, 549 N.E.2d 586, 591 (1989).

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