Schimel: Private event in public space needs alcohol license
MADISON, Wis. — Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel says private events in public spaces need liquor licenses.
Schimel quietly issued an informal opinion Nov. 16 at the request of state Rep. Rob Swearingen, a member of the Assembly tourism committee.
Swearingen asked Schimel to interpret statutes that prohibit owners of public places from allowing alcohol without a license. The statutes don’t define public places.
Schimel wrote there’s no distinction between a public place that hosts an event open to everyone and a public place that can be rented out for a limited private event.
The Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty, a conservative law firm, issued a news release Monday calling the opinion an “extreme interpretation” that threatens wedding barns. The firm says an event on private property clearly isn’t a public place.
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