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Thread: Question on Providing Complimentary Champagne to Clients

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    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    Hello , I have a ? . We have a business in Florida and we were told that we cannot legally provide free champagne in our limos, But if the client pays for it then its ok. Doesnt seem correct . Whats the difference? Does anyone know the law here in Florida?

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    Super Moderator gunny's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast:
    Hello , I have a ? . We have a business in Florida and we were told that we cannot legally provide free champagne in our limos, But if the client pays for it then its ok. Doesnt seem correct . Whats the difference? Does anyone know the law here in Florida?
    It doesn''t seem correct nor make sense. Ask whoever provided you with this info to reference the statute.
    End the Corruption. Disband the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission www.thefita.com

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    Senior Member Salicete's Avatar
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    Is it possible that they meant the client brings their own, and not that they paid you for the alcohol?

    I don't know about Florida, but I can't see how you could legally provide alcohol in your for-hire vehicle without a liquor license, and last time I checked, they weren’t handing those out to limo operators.

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    Originally posted by Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast:
    Hello , I have a ? . We have a business in Florida and we were told that we cannot legally provide free champagne in our limos, But if the client pays for it then its ok. Doesnt seem correct . Whats the difference? Does anyone know the law here in Florida?
    Who informed you of this? As Sal stated, you can give alcohol to anyone as long as they are legallay able to consume/possess alcohol.

    Also, this is the insurance and risk management side coming out of me, when you provide alcohol to clients, you are breeching the liquor-liability line which states that you provided alcohol to an individual, and if said individual is held liable for actions that can be considered caused by or his actions were impaired by alcohol you can/will be brought into a suit.

    Unless you have liquor-liability (LL) coverage (which is next to impossible to procure for limousine companies) you have no coverage because, if you do have a GL policy, LL is excluded from Host Liquor coverage.

    The only way to really obtain LL is to have a license, which as Sal points out, ain't gonna happen.

    Now, its not to say that a limo op cant get LL, it is just very complicated b/c there is no way to rate the exposure. The exposure is rated on sales and if it is complimentary, there is no sales ratio.

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    Senior Member Salicete's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Limo Insurance King:


    Who informed you of this? As Sal stated, you can give alcohol to anyone as long as they are legallay able to consume/possess alcohol.
    I'd like to qualify that, Phil. I did not mean to imply that carriers may "give" alcohol to clients.

    In Maryland we can not "provide" alcohol, period; however, the client may "BYOB."

    Before someone calls me out, I have commented on the merits of providing quality alcohol vs rot gut in another thread.

    Newbie operator mistake, in the past, no longer. Yes I was a I do not provide alcohol, at all.

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    Originally posted by Salicete:
    I'd like to qualify that, Phil. I did not mean to imply that carriers may "give" alcohol to clients.
    In Maryland we can not "provide" alcohol, period; however, the client may "BYOB."
    I probably should have said "where legal" you can provide alcohol to a person who is legally able to consume/possess.

    How about you guys in other states, are there rules/laws stating that you are not allowed to simply provide not sell alcohol to your clients?

    I really haven't thought about that before, thanks for letting me know Sal.

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    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    The person who told us that , also owns a limo service here in Florida. He said to check out the National Alcohol and Tobbacco and Fire Laws. Now we do have a liability form , that clients of age who do bring there own beer or liquor have to sign. Which clearly states that we are not responsible for any of there actions during or after the service. If they decide that once we drop them off to get in there car and drive drunk then we are not responsible. So you guys and gals are telling me that I cannot legally provide free champagne but if the client brings it its ok.Is that correct? I also see alott of companies ads that say complimentary champagne. I thought we just couldnt provide hard liquor. I will try to find out the exact law. Thank You for all the replies.

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    I am not clear about Florida, but I do know in Nevada, Limousine Companies are not alowed to provide Alcohol to clients. Most people have something in their hand when they get into the car anyway. This is legal! In California, you can give away Alcohol but can not charge for it. Operators do not have a Liquor License to do so. Passengers can bring their own into the car in both states. Other states have a no Liquor rule. I think its better that you dont supply booze. It is expensive and everyone wants something different. I have found the bottle water is the most popular with clients.

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    Senior Member Wade Randolph's Avatar
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    Why would anyone want to open themselves up to the liability that goes along with service alcohol? Provide bottled water and soft drinks, tell the clients to bring the adult drinks. It will save you alot of headaches.

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    The only thing I can find under Statute is:

    If you sell it, you need a license

    Open container law not applicable to passenger VFH
    End the Corruption. Disband the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission www.thefita.com

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    All our vehicles include a complimentary bottle of champagne, decanters with Seagram 7, Stoli Vodka and Bombay Gin. Every single limo I have ever bought came with THREE decanters. Why? For the booze. Dave H. is right, in California, we can give it away but if we charge for it we have to have a liquor license. Chauffeurs frequently see the words: REMOVE ALCOHOL on their paperwork when we know it will be minors. Our standard contract includes the statement, "No one under the age of 21 will be allowed to consume alcohol in the limousine".

    I think this is a difference in location as well. California people party and party hard and it is pretty much expected in a limousine.

    In 17 years it has never caused me a problem except for the ocassional theft of the whole decanter in which case either the client or the chauffuer is charged $100. We keep spares. Let me clarify the last statement before I get bashed.....

    The chauffuer is inherently responsible for keeping the car in order. I never charged a chauffeur yet but created a policy after one ALLOWED the client to take the decanter with the agreement the decanter would be returned to our office the next day. Dumb, dumb, dumb. Sometimes clients are sneaky and make off with one. That falls under the "loss of contents or damage to the vehicle" portion of the contract and it is conveniently charged to their credit card just like if you took all the bath towels of a hotel.
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    What do you all think about high-end mineral water. This stuff is trendy these days and costs just about the same or less as a bottle of good alcohol and there are no worries afterwards.

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    Originally posted by Limo Scene:
    All our vehicles include a complimentary bottle of champagne, decanters with Seagram 7, Stoli Vodka and Bombay Gin.
    Man Jim, your clients don't have a reason to leave the car when they are on a night out do they!?

    Lol, I know I wouldn't

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    Hi end mineral water is not needed. Limousine Companies are in the business to provide safe and proffessional transportation. Liquor or fancy water does not make a customer use your service. This is nothing more that extras. Provide on time service with proffessionals behind the wheel and give them bottled water! All of the fluff effects your bottom line. If a client wants something special, let them bring it themselves. Keep your money in your pocket, not in your drivers refrigerators.

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    Senior Member Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast's Avatar
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    Wow In Cali the limos are stocked up more than the liquor stores. We found out that in our area , we can offer alcohol if we charge the client. It has to be a seperate invoice,not relating to the actually booking invoice..This comes from The Divisions of Alcohol Beverages and Tobacco Law, Chapter 61a-1.020 paragragh 3..Sale of Alcoholic beverages to Agents for Consumers ! The person seperatly bills a consumer for delivery charges, setup, food, bartending and any other services provided, but does not commingle the purchase of alcoholic beverages with the services provided unless the person has a license authorizing the package sale of the alcoholic beverages purchased . Im glad we checked before we received a fine..
    Originally posted by Elegant Limousines of Palm Coast:
    Hello , I have a ? . We have a business in Florida and we were told that we cannot legally provide free champagne in our limos, But if the client pays for it then its ok. Doesnt seem correct . Whats the difference? Does anyone know the law here in Florida?

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