2020 Georgia Code
Title 3 - Alcoholic Beverages
Chapter 1 - General Provisions
§ 3-1-2. (See Editor's notes.) Definitions

Universal Citation: GA Code § 3-1-2 (2020)

As used in this title, the term:

  1. "Alcohol" means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced.
  2. "Alcoholic beverage" means and includes all alcohol, distilled spirits, beer, malt beverage, wine, or fortified wine.

    (2.1) "Bar" means any premises at which a retailer licensed pursuant to this title to sell alcoholic beverages derives 75 percent or more total annual gross revenue from the sale of alcoholic beverages for consumption on the premises.

  3. "Brewpub" means any eating establishment in which malt beverages are manufactured, subject to the barrel production limitation prescribed in Code Section 3-5-36. As used in this paragraph, the term "eating establishment" means an establishment which is licensed to sell distilled spirits, malt beverages, or wines and which derives at least 50 percent of its total annual gross food and beverage sales from the sale of prepared meals or food; provided, however, that when determining the total annual gross food and beverage sales, barrels of malt beverages sold to licensed wholesale dealers, as authorized pursuant to subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) of Code Section 3-5-36, or to the public for consumption off the premises, as authorized pursuant to subparagraph (D) of paragraph (2) and paragraph (4) of Code Section 3-5-36, shall not be used.
  4. "Broker" means any person who purchases or obtains an alcoholic beverage from an importer, distillery, brewery, or winery and sells the alcoholic beverage to another broker, importer, or wholesaler without having custody of the alcoholic beverage or maintaining a stock of the alcoholic beverage.
  5. "Commissioner" means the state revenue commissioner.
  6. "County or municipality" means those political subdivisions of this state as defined by law and includes any form of political subdivision consolidating a county with one or more municipalities.
  7. "Department" means the Department of Revenue.
  8. "Distilled spirits" means any alcoholic beverage obtained by distillation or containing more than 24 percent alcohol by volume.
  9. "Fortified wine" means any alcoholic beverage containing not more than 24 percent alcohol by volume made from fruits, berries, or grapes either by natural fermentation or by natural fermentation with brandy added. The term includes, but is not limited to, brandy.
  10. "Gallon" or "wine gallon" means a United States gallon of liquid measure equivalent to the volume of 231 cubic inches or the nearest equivalent metric measurement.

    (10.1) "Hard cider" means an alcoholic beverage obtained by the fermentation of the juice of apples, containing not more than 6 percent alcohol by volume, including, but not limited to, flavored or carbonated cider. For purposes of this title, hard cider shall be deemed a malt beverage. The term does not include "sweet cider."

  11. "Importer" means any person who imports an alcoholic beverage into this state from a foreign country and sells the alcoholic beverage to another importer, broker, or wholesaler and who maintains a stock of the alcoholic beverage.
  12. "Individual" means a natural person.
  13. "Malt beverage" means any alcoholic beverage obtained by the fermentation of any infusion or decoction of barley, malt, hops, or any other similar product, or any combination of such products in water, containing not more than 14 percent alcohol by volume and including ale, porter, brown, stout, lager beer, small beer, and strong beer. The term does not include sake, known as Japanese rice wine.
  14. "Manufacturer" means any maker, producer, or bottler of an alcoholic beverage. The term also means:
    1. In the case of distilled spirits, any person engaged in distilling, rectifying, or blending any distilled spirits; provided, however, that a vintner that blends wine with distilled spirits to produce a fortified wine shall not be considered a manufacturer of distilled spirits;
    2. In the case of malt beverages, any brewer; and
    3. In the case of wine, any vintner.
  15. "Military reservation" means a duly commissioned post, camp, base, or station of a branch of the armed forces of the United States located on territory within this state which has been ceded to the United States.
  16. "Package" means a bottle, can, keg, barrel, or other original consumer container.
  17. "Person" means any individual, firm, partnership, cooperative, nonprofit membership corporation, joint venture, association, company, corporation, agency, syndicate, estate, trust, business trust, receiver, fiduciary, or other group or combination acting as a unit, body politic, or political subdivision, whether public, private, or quasi-public.
  18. "Retail consumption dealer" means any person who sells distilled spirits for consumption on the premises at retail only to consumers and not for resale.
  19. "Retailer" or "retail dealer" means, except as to distilled spirits, any person who sells alcoholic beverages, either in unbroken packages or for consumption on the premises, at retail only to consumers and not for resale. With respect to distilled spirits, the term shall have the same meaning as the term "retail package liquor store."

    (19.1) "Retail package liquor store" means a retail business establishment owned by an individual, partnership, corporation, association, or other business entity:

    1. Primarily engaged in the retail sale of distilled spirits, malt beverages, and wine in unbroken packages, not for consumption on the premises, except as authorized under this chapter; and
    2. Which derives from such retail sale of alcoholic beverages in unbroken packages at least 75 percent of its total annual gross sales from the sale of a combination of distilled spirits, malt beverages, and wine.
  20. "Shipper" means any person who ships an alcoholic beverage from outside this state.
  21. "Standard case" means six containers of 1.75 liters, 12 containers of 750 milliliters, 12 containers of one liter, 24 containers of 500 milliliters, 24 containers of 375 milliliters, 48 containers of 200 milliliters, or 120 containers of 50 milliliters.
  22. "Taxpayer" means any person made liable by law to file a return or to pay tax.
  23. "Wholesaler" or "wholesale dealer" means any person who sells alcoholic beverages to other wholesale dealers, to retail dealers, or to retail consumption dealers.
  24. "Wine" means any alcoholic beverage containing not more than 24 percent alcohol by volume made from fruits, berries, or grapes either by natural fermentation or by natural fermentation with brandy added. The term includes, but is not limited to, all sparkling wines, champagnes, combinations of such beverages, vermouths, special natural wines, rectified wines, and like products. The term does not include cooking wine mixed with salt or other ingredients so as to render it unfit for human consumption as a beverage. A liquid shall first be deemed to be a wine at that point in the manufacturing process when it conforms to the definition of wine contained in this Code section.

(Code 1933, § 5A-102, enacted by Ga. L. 1980, p. 1573, § 1; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1269, §§ 2-4; Ga. L. 1994, p. 553, § 1; Ga. L. 1995, p. 734, § 1; Ga. L. 1998, p. 1581, § 1; Ga. L. 2004, p. 584, § 1; Ga. L. 2006, p. 206, § 1/HB 1248; Ga. L. 2012, p. 680, § 1/HB 472; Ga. L. 2013, p. 767, § 2/HB 124; Ga. L. 2014, p. 366, § 1/SB 286; Ga. L. 2015, p. 317, § 1/SB 63; Ga. L. 2015, p. 578, § 1/HB 152; Ga. L. 2018, p. 1112, § 3/SB 365.)

For application of this statute in 2020, see Executive Orders 03.23.20.01, 04.23.20.02, 05.12.20.02, 05.28.20.02, 06.11.20.01, 06.29.20.02, 07.15.20.01, 07.31.20.02, 08.15.20.01, and 08.31.20.02.

A listing of Executive Orders issued in 2020 can be found at https://gov.georgia.gov/executive-action/executive-orders/2020-executive-orders.

The 2018 amendment, effective May 8, 2018, part of an Act to revise, modernize, and correct the Code, revised punctuation in the first sentence of paragraph (10.1).

Cross references.

- General powers and duties of commissioner, § 48-2-7.

Code Commission notes.

- Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1995, paragraphs (22) and (23) were redesignated as paragraphs (23) and (22), respectively.

Pursuant to Code Section 28-9-5, in 1998, a minor punctuation change was made at the end of paragraph (10.1).

JUDICIAL DECISIONS

Editor's notes.

- In light of the similarity of the statutory provisions, annotations decided under former Ga. L. 1937, Ex. Sess., p. 103 are included in the annotations for this Code section.

Fact that whiskey is mixed with other ingredients in a glass and thus served to consumer does not change its character from whiskey to something else so as to render sale and consumption thereof not subject to regulation. Raines v. State, 96 Ga. App. 727, 101 S.E.2d 589 (1957) (decided under former Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 103).

Cited in Kariuki v. DeKalb County, 253 Ga. 713, 324 S.E.2d 450 (1985).

OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Under Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 103, it is unlawful to permit sale of spirituous liquors and whiskeys (distilled spirits), as defined in Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess., p. 103, in unbroken packages or by the drink to be consumed on the premises. 1954-56 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 460 (rendered under former Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess. p. 103).

Ga. L. 1937, Ex. Sess., p. 103 (see now O.C.G.A. § 3-1-2) provides that the word "person" includes corporations and this would include a municipal corporation. 1960-61 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 288 (rendered under former Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess. p. 103).

Home brew is a malt beverage and its manufacture is subject to the malt beverage statutes, notwithstanding that the alcoholic content exceeds 6 percent by volume. 1962 Op. Att'y Gen. p. 297 (rendered under former Ga. L. 1937-38, Ex. Sess. p. 103).

RESEARCH REFERENCES

Am. Jur. 2d.

- 29A Am. Jur. 2d, Evidence, § 106. 45 Am. Jur. 2d, Intoxicating Liquors, §§ 3 et seq., 26 et seq.

C.J.S.

- 48 C.J.S., Intoxicating Liquors, § 1 et seq.

ALR.

- Test of intoxicating character of liquor, 4 A.L.R. 1137; 11 A.L.R. 1233; 19 A.L.R. 512; 36 A.L.R. 725; 91 A.L.R. 513.

Judicial notice of intoxicating quality, and the like, of a liquor or particular liquid, from its name, 49 A.L.R.2d 764.

What constitutes "intoxicating liquor" within civil damage act, 52 A.L.R.2d 890.

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