SD26 - Recodification of Title 4 of the Code of Virginia

  • Published: 1993
  • Author: Virginia Code Commission
  • Enabling Authority: Senate Joint Resolution 13 (Regular Session, 1992)

Executive Summary:
Senate Joint Resolution No. 13 of the 1992 Acts of Assembly directed the Virginia Code Commission to study Title 4 of the Code of Virginia and report its findings in the form of a recodification of the title to the Governor and the General Assembly. The Resolution stated that the title had undergone many changes since the publication of the Code of 1950, and that the laws and regulations concerning alcoholic beverages have changed substantially in the past four decades. Due to the number of amendments and changes which have been made in Title 4, the need arose to (i) organize the laws in a more logical manner, (ii) delete obsolete and duplicative provisions, and (iii) improve the structure and clarity of Title 4.

In accordance with the mandate, the study has been completed. The result is a recodification of Title 4 into a new Title 4.1, comprised of five chapters. The name of the title was changed from "Alcoholic Beverages and Industrial Alcohol" to "Alcoholic Beverage Control" since the chapter on industrial alcohol was repealed by Chapter 468 of the 1980 Acts of Assembly. The organization of Title 4 is based primarily on the type of alcoholic beverage, with a separate chapter dedicated to each type. This organizational form created the need for repetitive provisions in each chapter. The reorganization of proposed Title 4.1 simplifies the organization of the alcoholic beverage control laws and eliminates repetitive provisions by categorizing the law principally under three chapters. Chapter 1 includes the general provisions relating to the administration of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, operation of government stores, as well as definitions and local option referenda. Chapter 2 provides the "A to Z" of licensure, including exemptions from licensure, types of licenses granted by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (the Board) arranged by the type of beverage, the revocation and suspension of same, and fees and taxes on licenses. Chapter 3 centralizes all provisions relating to prohibited acts and penalties found scattered throughout the title. The remaining two chapters, the Wine Franchise Act and the Beer Franchise Act, are almost identical to their predecessors in subject matter and sequence, with only technical changes made due to their relatively recent enactments.

The Code Commission has rewritten and combined sections or parts of sections to clarify provisions and to eliminate archaic, obsolete or redundant language. Drafting notes highlighting significant changes or reorganization appear throughout this report, some preceding chapters where significant revisions were made and others following key sections in the Title 4.1 draft.

The Commission is indebted to the members of the Board and their staff for their efforts in this undertaking. Board member Robert E. Colvin and his staff worked with the Code Commission staff to develop and structure a draft that served as the foundation for this recodification. In addition, their analysis and historical insights enriched and invigorated this study and the draft that resulted.

The Commission is equally grateful to those individuals who devoted their time and expertise to this project by serving on a Special Task Force appointed by the Code Commission to assist it in reviewing the draft proposals. Task force members, representing a variety of interests and constituencies in the alcohol beverage control arena, helped refine the Title 4.1 draft through helpful criticism, comment, and suggestion.

The text of proposed Title 4.1 follows this introduction and summary as Appendix I. Appendix II compares the outline of Title 4 to that of proposed Title 4.1. Appendix III contains comparative tables that cross-reference the provisions of Title 4 to corresponding provisions in Title 4.1. Those sections in Title 4 proposed for repeal are so identified. A comparative table showing the distribution of Title 4 sections in proposed Title 4.1 is also part of this appendix. Appendix IV provides, in table form, the principal changes made by the Code Commission in the revision of Title 4. A copy of SJR 13 (1992), a listing of the names of the representatives of the Board assigned to. this project, and the names and affiliations of the Special Task Force members comprise Appendix VI.

The Virginia Code Commission recommends that the General Assembly enact legislation at the 1993 session to implement the revisions proposed in this report.