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Changes to Alcohol Laws in Massachusetts

Published in Local News on January 29, 2018

Reading Time: 4 minutes

The state of Massachusetts has a proud history of culture. Cities, including Boston, are well-known for sports and entertainment, and the nightlife and bar scene are part of the region’s historic charm. However, many Massachusetts laws regarding alcohol have recently become subject to legislative change. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, our personal injury lawyers understand the importance of staying informed about these changes, especially when they have significant implications for our community. 

With our extensive experience in legal matters across the state, we are ideally positioned to provide insights into the latest developments in alcohol laws in Massachusetts. Our dedicated personal injury lawyers can also provide valuable support if you have been injured and face damages due to lack of adherence to these new laws. For instance, if you’ve been harmed due to someone being overserved alcohol, we’re here to assist with your dram shop liability claim. Please contact one of our personal injury attorneys by calling (617) 391-9001 or completing our contact form at your convenience.

Changes to the Current Law

A state government task force is considering changing regulations and laws on the sale and consumption of alcohol. They are suggesting changing the alcohol tax and raising fines and fees for citations relating to alcohol. Such changes would ban price reductions and large sales from bulk items sold and make purchasing beer, wine, and liquor more expensive.

Previously, many people considered the alcohol laws in Massachusetts old-fashioned. Many of the laws have not been updated since 1933. One of the least popular laws states that someone who wants to purchase alcohol must have a Massachusetts driver’s license, liquor identification card, a military identification card, or a United States passport. This means that driver’s licenses from out of state are not enough to buy alcohol in Massachusetts. This limits many visitors to the state from being able to purchase beer, wine, or liquor.

For instance, if you’ve been harmed due to someone being overserved alcohol, we’re here to assist with your dram shop liability claim. Alcoholic beverage producers are tethered to their distributors under current law unless they can prove that the distributor is negatively affecting the sale of their products. The task force is also working to loosen this requirement to help reduce the animosity between alcohol producers and distributors.

How Alcohol Law Changes Impact Individuals in Massachusetts

Changes to alcohol laws in Massachusetts will impact everyone, including suppliers and consumers. There will also be changes for dram shops, or the businesses that sell directly to consumers.

Increase in Cost

A report by the state government claims that the taxes on alcohol in Massachusetts are lower than most states and that higher taxes would bring in a considerable sum of money for the government. This would lead to the larger costs for beer, wine, and liquor landing on customers, as opposed to the state government.

However, the supporters of these regulations are concerned that members of the alcohol industry will be upset about the hike in taxes, because it would significantly increase their overhead costs. To support the businesses, the task force is also working to make it easier for businesses to be able to sell wine, beer, and liquor, as opposed to only being licensed to sell one or two of them.

Increase Fines

Another aspect of the alcohol industry that has been subject to change is the application of fines. The current fine for selling alcohol to a minor is $2,000, but the task force is recommending changing that to $2,900. The current fine for using fake identification is $300, and the task force is lobbying for that to be quadrupled.

How the Task Force Will Be Run

Massachusetts state Treasurer Deborah Goldberg has chosen seven lawyers and state officials who have no attachment to alcohol sales or business in Massachusetts to run the task force. This will increase objectivity while the task force works to create these new regulations.

If the task force can find a way to pass these regulations, Massachusetts could experience changes throughout many sectors of the state, and the alcohol business could shift toward more modern rules.

How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Help With Your Claim?

If you run into legal matters of any kind, we strongly recommend you work with a qualified personal injury attorney for valuable support. Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers can provide valuable recommendations in numerous ways, including in cases involving alcohol or driving under the influence. We can support you in the following ways:

  • Conduct an independent investigation into the accident
  • Work with medical professionals
  • Negotiate with every party to recover a satisfactory settlement
  • Prepare your case for court
  • Collect evidence to prove liability
  • Consult with experts to determine the full scope of your damages
  • Assure that all documents are filed correctly and in a timely manner
  • Review your damages to determine the total value of your claim
  • Communicate with the other parties on your behalf
  • Organize your medical records and bills
  • Work with your health care providers to obtain any missing records
  • Organize and present the evidence in order to prove liability and damages
  • Access research methods and tools only available to legal professionals
  • Quicker delivery of documents from law enforcement and doctors
  • An understanding of the legal system and how to make it work for you
  • Refer you to medical practitioners you can trust
  • Connect you to additional legal specialists
  • Manage your legal and medical schedules
  • Reduce stress related to your legal claim

We encourage you to refrain from representing yourself during legal proceedings, especially those relating to use of alcohol and serious injuries. Our team of personal injury attorneys can support you in many ways, reducing stress related to your claim. Self-representation can easily result in reduced compensation, lengthier litigation, and worsened stress. However, working with Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers can simplify the process, maximizing your compensation, shortening litigation time, and reducing stress.

Protect Your Rights and Receive Fair Compensation: Contact Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers Today

As we navigate the evolving landscape of alcohol laws in Massachusetts, it’s crucial to understand how these changes might affect you. At Sweeney Merrigan Personal Injury Lawyers, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal guidance in this dynamic legal environment. One of our dedicated personal injury lawyers is Dylan Hixson, a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, the Boston Bar Association, and National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40.

Don’t let legal uncertainties around alcohol laws in Massachusetts navigate your decisions. Reach out to a personal injury attorney for reliable legal recommendations and representation. For more information, call our law office at (617) 391-9001, or if you would prefer to email us, then please visit our contact page. With our deep understanding of Massachusetts laws and commitment to our clients, our personal injury lawyers ensure you’re well-equipped to adapt to these legal updates.

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