Scroll down for a link to the committee currently up for review of this bill so you can contact them to ask for their vote against this bill.

Why do we need to oppose this bill?

UPDATED March 10, 2020:  There is an additional section of this bill, we believe would compromise public safety.  The bill would allow for moving vehicles to contain bars selling alcohol to the public.

The actual wording from the bill is as follows:  “A licensed caterer may cater to a site that is a conveyance if the conveyance: (A) Has enough interior space and is equipped for a bartender holding a valid server permit to serve drinks and food; (B) Has space available to store alcoholic beverages in a manner that restricts access to alcoholic beverages by persons other than the bartender; and (C) Maintains a fixed route. (2) A caterer licensee catering to a conveyance may cater to the conveyance seven (7) days a week. (3) For purposes of notification under subsection (b), a licensed caterer is only required to provide notification prior to the commencement of performance of a contract for catering services to a conveyance. The licensed caterer shall provide a new notification each time the contract is renewed. The notification must include a detailed description of the fixed route the conveyance will take during the events.”

The idea of condoning alcohol in conjunction with driving, even if only for passengers, creates considerable risk for drivers to have ready-access to alcohol.  In addition, we believe that law enforcement’s ability to regulate and monitor alcohol sales would be drastically compromised in a moving conveyance.  Besides an increased risk of underage consumption, we also believe that standard risks involved with alcohol consumption in a brick-and-mortar facility would be amplified in a moving vehicle.  Imagine the impact of a bar fight in a moving vehicle and how it might affect the driver’s ability to drive safely without interference or distraction.

Bill HB2442/SB2481 limits the number of times Minor Compliance checks can be conducted at Tennessee liquor license entities to 2 per year. Knowing that they can’t be checked again, after the 2nd check, establishments would be free to operate without fear of consequences for non-compliance with state law regarding underage consumption!

In addition, this bill states that “multiple violations discovered during a single investigation of the same type by an entity licensed under this chapter must be treated as a single offense.” This is unacceptable. Would we consider an investigation regarding a burglary that included an assault, a theft under $1,000 and a theft over $5,000, to be a single offense? Would a traffic crash that resulted in a DUI, a vehicular assault charge, a vehicular homicide charge and driving on a revoked license be considered a single offense? MADD believes each offense should be considered separately in order to ensure that the establishment is held accountable and that patrons, and the general public, are protected.

What can I do to help keep this bill from becoming a law?

To stop this bill from becoming a law, we will need your support!  On the road to becoming a law, there are several committees through which the bill must pass before it is even eligible to go before the full House and/or Senate to be voted into law.  Please bookmark this page and follow us on our @MADDTennessee Facebook page for updates about the progress of the bill and who we need you to contact to let your voice be heard.  YOU can help STOP this bill by emailing committee members and your own legislators telling them that you want them to vote AGAINST this bill! Keep reading for instructions on who to contact, when, and even ideas of what to say.

Who do I contact to ask them to vote against this bill and when?

Under “Committee Member Links” below you can see which committee is currently reviewing the bill.  Look for our note that says “PLEASE EMAIL THIS COMMITTEE NOW.”  Then click the link to get the list of committee members and email each member to ask for their support.

Committee Member Links

House State Committee members listThe bill is up for a vote in this committee on Tuesday, March 17.  PLEASE EMAIL THIS COMMITTEE NOW.

Senate State and Local Government Committee members list – The bill was up for a vote in this committee on March 10, but was deferred instead.  The final vote in this committee will now be on the Final Calendar with a date TBD – PLEASE EMAIL THIS COMMITTEE NOW.

House Departments & Agencies Subcommittee members list – The bill passed in this committee on March 3, with only one vote in opposition, to move to the next committee.

What should I say when asking legislators to vote against this bill?

Not sure what to say exactly?  We have a sample of text below that you can copy and paste to use in your email if you’d like.  Use it as it is, or adjust the wording as needed to personalize it and let the legislator know why opposing this bill means something to you, and why you don’t want to see it become law in Tennessee.  Just be sure you include bill number, HB2442 (Ramsey)/ SB2481 (Dickerson),  in your email.

Sample Email Text

Dear Sir or Madame,

I am writing to ask you to oppose HB2442 (Ramsey)/ SB2481 (Dickerson) regarding changes to TCA Title 57 law which has several sections of concern.

  1. It limits the number of Minor Compliance Checks that can be done at entities who hold liquor licenses to a maximum of two per year.  I believe in the importance of Minor Compliance Checks as a vital tool in the prevention of underage alcohol consumption which endangers Tennessee youth.  If this bill were to become law, after the 2nd check, establishments would be free to operate without fear of consequences for non-compliance with state law regarding underage consumption, knowing that they can’t be checked again for the rest of the year!  This is a very dangerous scenario that puts Tennesseans at risk and it is unacceptable!  License holders need to be accountable!
  2. In addition, I am troubled to hear that the bill also includes a section which would allow for alcohol sales in moving vehicles.  The idea of condoning alcohol in conjunction with driving, even if only for passengers, creates considerable risk for drivers to have ready-access to alcohol.  Further, law enforcement’s ability to regulate and monitor alcohol sales would be drastically compromised in a moving conveyance.  Besides an increased risk of underage consumption, the standard risks involved with alcohol consumption in a brick-and-mortar facility would also be amplified in a moving vehicle.  Imagine the impact of a bar fight in a moving vehicle and how it might affect the driver’s ability to drive safely without interference or distraction.  This section of the bill is clearly dangerous and irresponsible and would put Tennesseans at risk.
  3. Finally, I believe it is unacceptable that this bill states that “multiple violations discovered during a single investigation of the same type by an entity licensed under this chapter must be treated as a single offense.”  Would we consider an investigation regarding a burglary that included an assault, a theft under $1,000 and a theft over $5,000, to be a single offense? Would a traffic crash that resulted in a DUI, a vehicular assault charge, a vehicular homicide charge and driving on a revoked license be considered a single offense? I believe each offense should be considered separately in order to ensure that the establishment is held accountable and that patrons, and the general public, are protected.

I hope I can count on your vote against this legislation so that it does not become law.

Sincerely,