Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Vancouver: From book stores to barber shops, businesses across British Columbia can now ask the provincial government for permission to serve liquor.

Under new legislation that comes into effect today, any business can now apply for a liquor licence, unless it caters primarily to minors and or is based inside a motor vehicle.

Those serving drinks will have to be certified through the province’s Serving It Right program, which teaches people their legal responsibilities when serving alcohol.

John Yap, the parliamentary secretary for liquor review policy, says the new rules are a fundamental departure from the previous laws, which allowed only food, beverage and hospitality businesses to apply for licences.

Other policy changes are now also in place that would allow people at golf courses to take their drinks from one service area to another, and hotels to give guests a complimentary check-in drink.

Yap says the legislation modernizes B.C.’s liquor laws, creates flexibility for consumers and allows businesses to explore new revenue streams.

The Canadian Press