§ 3-5-11.1 Liquor franchises prohibited. (a) To promote the effective and reasonable control and regulation of the Rhode Island alcoholic beverage industry and to help the consumer by protecting their choices and ensuring equitable pricing. Class A liquor license authorized by this title shall not be granted, issued, renewed or transferred to or for the use of any liquor franchisor or franchisee. Class A liquor license holders are expressly prohibited from utilizing the provisions of the Franchise Investor Act, § 19-28-1 et seq.
(b) Any franchise agreements involving the retail sales of alcoholic beverages are hereby declared null and void and illegal as of the effective date of this section [April 1, 2005].
(c) Any franchise agreements involving the retail sales of alcoholic beverages shall be terminated by the franchisor or the franchisee within thirty (30) days of the effective date of this section.
(d) Upon finding of a violation of this section by either the franchisor or the licensee, the department shall be empowered to set a fine up to the amount of ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per violating franchisor or licensee, revoke the license of the violator or suspend the license of the violator for a period of time to be determined by the department. Additionally, the department shall have the power to revoke or suspend the franchise registration in accordance with § 19-28.1-18 and to order it to cease and desist from all operations that are violative of the provisions of this section.
Notwithstanding anything contained in this chapter to the
contrary, this act shall not be construed as to prevent the utilization of duly
licensed professionals rendering services as independent contractors.
(P.L. 2004, ch. 376, § 2; P.L. 2004, ch. 469, § 2.)