The Use of Automated Beverage Dispensing Machines in New York

SLA Rule 92.1 permits the installation of automated and electronic liquor dispensing system at on-premises establishments and further states the structural requirements with which the dispensing system must comply. These include, among other requirements, the following:

  1. Such equipment must avoid an in-series hook-up which would permit the contents of liquor or wine bottles to flow from bottles to bottle before reaching the dispensing spigot or nozzle.
  2. Such equipment must not dispense from or utilize containers other than the original liquor or wine containers containing quantitates not to exceed one-half gallon each of liquor or 15 gallons each of wine, as received from the manufacturer or wholesaler.
  3. Such equipment shall not permit intermixing of different kinds of products or brands within the dispensing system.
  4. No liquor or wine shall be sold, served or dispensed from such system equipment unless the brand name of the manufacturer’s product corresponding to the container form which the liquor or wine is drawn is affixed or printed on a card, sign, plate, button or key of the dispensing spigot or nozzle.
  5. In addition, the Authority requires that the utilization of such systems include operational safeguards to ensure that sales to minors or intoxicated patrons do not occur.

The Liquor Authority ruled on the legality of an automatic dispensing machine with the following features:

  1. The original labeled bottles of alcoholic beverages are fitted inside the vending machine
  2. The bottles are then connected by tubes to the dispensing mechanism.
  3. Each separated bottle is dispensed independent of any other so there is no contamination and no mixture of alcoholic beverages until it is dispensed into the glass or flask.
  4. The machine will be located in permanent location, and will be locked and can only be opened by staff for cleaning, maintenance, and replacement of inventory, etc.
  5. Only patrons 21 years-old or older may purchase tokens, which they will insert into the automated machine prior to selecting the alcoholic beverage of their choice
  6. Cashiers selling tokens will require legally sufficient identification, and the automated machines will be monitored by employees to ensure that no underage patrons use tokens or receive drinks, and that no other violation of law occur.
  7. During busy, late night hours the licensee will have New York State licensed security guards at the establishment’s doors checking identification.

Such an automated vending machine complies with SLA Rule 92.1.