City approves first reading of alcohol delivery ordinance

Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King oversees a City Council meeting on May 4, 2021

The Gillette City Council on Tuesday passed its first reading of an ordinance that would allow for the delivery of alcohol, liquor, and malt beverages within city limits.

In a split vote, the council passed the ordinance with five members, including Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King, voting in favor during their regular meeting on May 18. Councilmen Billy Montgomery and Eric Hanson both voted against the measure.

Before the ordinance is officially added to the books, it must pass two more readings by the council.

It’s a move that would bring city ordinances into compliance with statutory changes made by the Wyoming Legislature during their most legislative session. The new ordinance removes some restrictions faced by city liquor license holders, such as the mandatory dispensing area in restaurants, and lays out an additional set of rules for those hoping to take up deliveries.

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The ordinance does not require city liquor license holders to offer delivery, according to City Attorney Anthony Reyes, but it does give the option to participate if they want to. City liquor license holders can make their own decision on what products they choose to deliver.

Under the new ordinance, only three types of liquor license holders would be authorized to conduct deliveries: retail, wineries, and microbreweries, per Reyes.

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Retail licensees may deliver any type of alcohol, but microbreweries and wineries would only be authorized to deliver their own products.

Orders would need to be placed by persons 21 or older at the alcohol establishment, which would be required to process all payments on establishment grounds. All deliveries would need to be completed the same day the order is placed, Reyes said.

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The options for delivery would be restricted to two options as well; liquor licensees may choose to deliver alcohol themselves or they could employ a third-party contractor, per Reyes, who added that delivery drivers are not authorized to accept payment for alcohol deliveries. Any delivery driver would be required to undergo mandatory TIPS training before making any delivery.

TIPS is a skills-based training program designed to prevent intoxication, drunk driving, and underage drinking, according to the organization’s website, and would provide ample training for delivery drivers to adhere to another requirement: checking recipient identification to ensure they are over the age of 21.

Liquor license holders authorizing deliveries would be on the hook for any violation of the ordinance, Reyes said, regardless of whether the delivery driver is an employee or contractor.

Violations of the ordinance would be considered a misdemeanor, he noted, meaning liquor license holders could face a fine of several hundred dollars or lose their license altogether.