Can party houses serve liquor?
Our state liquor laws provide an effective mechanism for stopping unlawful large parties or events at residences, including short-term rentals.
Selling or dealing alcohol without a state-issued liquor license is unlawful under A.R.S. § 4-244(1), and includes indirectly delivering alcohol for value.
It is also unlawful under A.R.S. § 4-244.05(A) for any business to allow even the consumption of alcohol if that business is selling food or beverages, providing entertainment, charging a membership fee or cover charge, or requiring a minimum purchase or rental requirement for goods or services.
Throwing a large party at your residence may not prove to be a violation of these two statutes, but throwing a party at a residence as part of a larger enterprise, whether there are tickets, services, or food sold --- or even entertainment provided --- may result in violations.
In addition to local nuisance ordinances, knowing our liquor laws can help deter unlawful social gatherings and events by bad actors.
This is particularly important when so many community-oriented restaurants, hotels, resorts, concert venues, and bars have temporarily closed or severely limited their operations due to COVID-19.
Editor’s Note: Camila Alarcon is a member at Gammage & Burnham, PLC. She represents a wide range of clients in the alcohol and hospitality industries, and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 602-256-4417.