The State Liquor Enforcement Division (LED) is looking for some basic things.
LICENSES ARE NOT UP TO DATE. LED is going to look to see that all the liquor, sales tax, and retail food establishment licenses are current and displayed in a conspicuous location. Make sure you renew all of your licenses before they expire. Also, make sure all your current licenses are displayed in a location that is in view of the public and not covered or obscured by anything. Don’t put your licenses in an office, behind a door, or in a drawer.
NO MINOR WARNING SIGN DISPLAYED. LED will check for a minor warning sign and make sure it is displayed in a location, visible to the public, with unobstructed views. CRA can provide members with this sign free of charge.
INVOICES AND RECEIPTS FOR LIQUOR PURCHASES CANNOT BE LOCATED OR ARE DISORGANIZED. LED will ask to see invoices and receipts for all liquor purchases made by the licensed establishment. Licensees must have the current and previous three years' invoices and receipts for all liquor purchases on-site. The law implies the invoices must be the original, but LED will allow you to provide copies or scans. Local enforcement may require you to provide the originals – be sure to check with your local licensing authority. It is recommended that you file your invoices and receipts by distributor or retail purchase in separate files, by year. Disorganized records can be a red-flag for inspectors.
REGISTERED MANAGER IS NOT UP TO DATE. LED will check to see if the manager of the establishment(or the person performing the tasks of a manager) is the person registered on the liquor license. The establishment’s manager is required to be named on the license through the local and state licensing authority. If the manager of an establishment changes, the licensee has 10 days to notify the local licensing authority and 30 days to notify the LED.
FOOD IS NOT BEING SERVED PER YOUR LICENSE REQUIREMENTS. LED is going to ensure that the appropriate food is available for purchase depending on the type of license the establishment has. Hotel and restaurant licensees must serve meals between the hours of 8am and 8pm and at least meals or light snacks and sandwiches served after 8pm while the establishment is open and serving drinks. Tavern licensees must serve light snacks or sandwiches whenever the establishment is open and serving drinks.
ARE YOU SELLING TOBACCO? LED will check to see if your establishment is selling tobacco products. If you are, LED will want to make sure that you are following all of the appropriate laws and regulations concerning the sale of tobacco.
DO YOU ALLOW OR PROMOTE GAMBLING? LED will check for gambling in the licensed premise. If they see raffle tickets (sometimes used as drink tickets) they will inquire about a raffle in the establishment. Raffles qualify as gambling and can’t be conducted without a raffle license. Tickets may be used for a door prize as long as the tickets are not “sold” and every customer gets the same number of tickets regardless of sales or purchases.
HAVE YOU MODIFIED THE LICENSED PREMISE? Did you move or add a bar? Did you install a fire pit? Have you changed a door, wall or partition? Are you storing alcohol in a location not on the licensed premise? LED will look at your establishment and compare it to the licensed premise that was submitted with the license application to see if anything has been altered. They will also look to see if you are storing all of your alcohol on the licensed premise. LED and local licensing needs to be informed of any changes to a licensed premise before the changes can be made. You must apply for a “modification of the premises” which may require posting of the changes and a public hearing on the changes to the premise.
ARE YOU CHECKING ID’S? LED will review how to check ID’s and ask about your policies for checking ID’s. Make sure your staff is checking ID’s before serving a patron. It is the establishment’s responsibility to make sure they are not serving minors.
ARE YOU TRANSFERRING ALCOHOL BETWEEN DIFFERENT ESTABLISHMENTS? Do you have multiple liquor licenses? Is each licensed premise purchasing their own alcohol? LED will be looking to see if all of the alcohol being used by the licensed establishment was purchased by the establishment. Each licensed establishment must purchase the alcohol that is being used at that establishment.
Always ensure your business is using best practices.