Subtitle: 
A Court rules that Boulder has no authority to limit alcohol consumption at Thunderbird Burgers during certain hours

Thunderbird Burgers opened in 1998. In October 2002, Thunderbird Burgers received a liquor license. Thunderbird began staying open past 11 pm, which was in violation of the zoning designation for where it was located. In December 2004, Boulder informed Thunderbird that is was operating in violation of the zoning designation. Thunderbird Burgers then asked for a use review to operate during extended hours.

Important Tip A city's authority with respect to the manufacture, sale and distribution of intoxicating liquors is limited.

The Boulder Planning Board approved the use review, subject to the condition that no alcoholic beverages be consumed after 11 pm.

Thunderbird challenged the limitation on alcohol between 11 pm and 2 am. The Court ruled in Thunderbird’s favor.

The Court determined that Boulder (like other home rule cities) has no constitutional authority to set this kind of limitation since the Colorado constitution provides such authority only to agencies provided by the statutory laws of the State of Colorado. The Court determined that a city could have zoning regulations completely prohibiting the sale of alcoholic beverages. But a city does not have authority to regulate the hours a business may sell alcoholic beverages (although a city through its zoning rule can regulate the hours a business may be open).

 

Additional Information
Important Tip: 
A city's authority with respect to the manufacture, sale and distribution of intoxicating liquors is limited.
Marketing copy: 
restaurant legal issues