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Runestad bill will expand self-serve tap safety options at Michigan bars, restaurants

LANSING, Mich.Sen. Jim Runestad’s legislation to allow self-dispensing beer, wine or mixed spirits taps to be installed at tables or mounted onto walls at bars and restaurants across the state is now in line for the governor’s signature after the Senate on Thursday concurred to a final version of the bill.

“Michigan has one of the largest craft beer industries in the country and this bill will improve safety for Michigan consumers and our hospitality industry,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “Michigan can now join 45 other states that currently allow self-dispensing technology as an option for busy establishments. The technology adds additional safety measures to limit and track the amount each individual consumes and reduces the touches on each individual glass.”

Senate Bill 656 would amend the Michigan Liquor Control Code of 1998 to allow for tabletop and wall-mounted taps to be installed in Michigan bars and restaurants. Patrons would be able to access these self-serve taps through prepaid key cards that could be worn as a necklace or bracelet and track their consumption.

“This bill will update our state’s liquor control code with respect to growing hospitality industry technologies and make a big difference for our business owners who are seeking new ways to better serve their customers,” Runestad said. “Additionally, this practice will be a benefit to public health safety by allowing servers better methods to monitor the alcohol consumption of customers.”

Self-serve tap machines would be limited to serving a total of 96 ounces in a single prepaid order — no more than 16 ounces of beer, 12 ounces of wine, or 12 ounces of a mixed spirit per serving — and would not be permitted to dispense straight spirits.

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