April 26, 2014 2:48 pm

No more fencing around beer gardens as part of new changes to B.C.’s liquor policy

Julia Wong/Global News

A number of changes to B.C.’s liquor policy comes into effect today.

From now on, beer gardens at festivals and special events will no longer have to be cordoned off.

The fencing around an area where alcohol is being served is not a requirement anymore.

Province says the change will make it easier for parents to have a drink and stay together with their kids at these events.

However, festivals or special events that wish to have beer garden fencing may still do so.

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It will also help the bottom line of non-profits that run festivals and special events by reducing set-up costs.

WATCH: Final BC liquor policy recommendations

The sale of mixed spirits, such as gin and tonic or rum and Coke, will also now be allowed at events requiring a special occasion licence (SOL).

All festivals and public special events that wish to sell alcohol will still need to apply for a SOL and may be subject to local government or police approval.

For large-scale events with more than 500 people, event organizers must submit a site plan that demonstrates a safe, secure environment with controls in place to ensure minors won’t have access to liquor.

“Public safety will not take a backseat with these changes,” said Attorney General Suzanne Anton. “In fact, quite the contrary.”

Finally, sports and entertainment will be able to serve spirits to all patrons, no matter where they are seated. Previously, beer and wine was allowed to be served to those in the general seating area, and spirits to those in private boxes or premium seats.

The liquor policy review was launched in September of last year to allow British Columbians decide what changes were necessary.

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