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Introduced Version - Originating in Committee Senate Bill 742 History

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Senate Bill No. 742

(By Senators Helmick, Sharpe, Prezioso, Plymale

Edgell, Love, Bailey, Bowman, McCabe, Unger, Minear, Boley,

Facemyer, Yoder, Guills and Sprouse)

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[Originating in the Committee on Finance;

reported March 24, 2005.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §11-16-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto three new sections, designated §11-16-5a, §11-16-5b and §11-16-5c, all relating to the manufacture, sale, possession, distribution, furnishing or giving away of nonintoxicating beer contrary to law in unlicensed establishments; establishing criminal penalties; and providing similar public nuisance provisions in relation to beer as there currently exists for liquor.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That §11-16-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto three new sections, designated §11-16-5a, §11-16-5b and §11-16-5c, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 16. NONINTOXICATING BEER.
§11-16-5. State license required; alcoholic content of beer manufactured for sale without state.

(a) No person shall manufacture, sell, possess for sale, transport or distribute, furnish or give away contrary to law, nonintoxicating beer except in accordance with the provisions of this article, and after first obtaining a state license therefor, as provided in this article. Nothing contained in this article shall prohibit prohibits any brewer located within the state from manufacturing or transporting for sale without the state beer of an alcoholic strength greater than that of nonintoxicating beer.
(b) Any person who violates the provisions of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than twenty-five nor more than five hundred dollars. Any person who violates the provisions of this section a second or subsequent time is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not less than five hundred nor more than one thousand dollars.
§11-16-5a. Places considered common and public nuisances; abatement; conspiracy.

(a) A place where nonintoxicating beer is manufactured, sold, possessed for sale, distributed, furnished or given away contrary to law, is a common and public nuisance. Boats, cars (including railroad and traction passenger cars operating in this state), automobiles, wagons, water and aircraft, beasts of burden, or vehicles of any kind are places within the meaning of this section and may be proceeded against under the provisions of section five-b of this article. A person who maintains or aids or abets or knowingly associates with others in maintaining a common and public nuisance is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred nor more than five hundred dollars, or by confinement in jail not less than sixty days nor more than six months for each offense, and judgment shall be given that the nuisance be abated or closed as a place for the manufacture, sale, possession for sale, distribution, furnishing or giving away, contrary to law, of nonintoxicating beer, as the court may determine.
(b) If two or more persons conspire to maintain a common and public nuisance or to manufacture, sell, possess for sale, distribute, furnish or give away nonintoxicating beer in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter, and one or more of those persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each of the parties to the conspiracy is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or by confinement in jail for not less than one month nor more than six months, or in the discretion of the court, by both such fine and imprisonment.
§11-16-5b. Suits to abate nuisances; injunction.

(a) The Alcohol Beverage Control Commission, its agents, the Attorney General, the prosecuting attorney, or a citizen of the county or municipality where a nuisance as defined in section five-a of this article is located, may maintain a suit in equity in the name of the state to abate and perpetually enjoin the same. Courts of equity have jurisdiction of the suit. The injunction may be granted at the commencement of the suit and no bond is required. On the finding that the material allegations of the bill are true, the court or judge thereof in vacation shall order the injunction for any period of time it or he or she may think proper, with the right to dissolve the injunction upon the application of the owner of the place, if a proper case is shown for the dissolution.
(b) The continuance of the injunction as provided in this section may be ordered, although the place complained of may not at the time of hearing be unlawfully used.
§11-16-5c. Search warrants.
(a) If there is a complaint on oath or affirmation supported by affidavit or affidavits setting forth the facts for the belief that nonintoxicating beer is being manufactured, sold, possessed for sale, distributed, furnished or given away in a particular house or other place contrary to law, the magistrate or circuit court judge thereof, if satisfied that there is a probable cause for that belief, shall issue a warrant to search the house or other place for nonintoxicating beer. The warrants, except as otherwise provided in this section, shall be issued, directed and executed in accordance with the laws of West Virginia pertaining to search warrants.
(b) Warrants issued under this chapter for the search of any automobile, boat, conveyance or vehicle, or for the search of any trunk, grip or other article of baggage, for nonintoxicating beer, may be executed in any part of the state where the same are overtaken, and shall be made returnable before any magistrate or circuit court judge were transported or attempted to be transported contrary to law.
(c) An officer charged with the execution of a warrant issued under this section, may, whenever it is necessary, break open and enter a house or other place described in this article.
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