Obtaining a license to serve and sell alcoholic beverages in California is not always easy. There are many factors that may be out of your control and obstacles that may be a challenge to overcome. Once you have your license, however, you have the opportunity to establish a bar or restaurant that can bring enjoyment to your customers and success to you.
Of course, having a liquor license does not mean your worries are over. As long as the California Alcoholic Beverage Control licenses you to distribute alcohol in your establishment, you have an obligation to follow the rules your state and jurisdiction have set to ensure the protection of your customers and the general public. Failing to comply with these rules can result in the suspension of your license, which can be detrimental to your business and your livelihood.
Your license at risk
Whether your vision for your establishment is an understated atmosphere where families feel welcome or a rowdy hot spot where partiers gather, you must maintain a certain level of control over what happens in your bar or restaurant. Allowing your customers to fight, gamble, harass other patrons or engage in other negative behaviors may place your license at risk, especially if these behaviors escalate due to intoxication. The ABC may take notice of a bar where police respond to disturbances or neighbors file complaints.
In addition, the following may place your license at risk:
- Overserving patrons who are already showing signs of intoxication
- Selling alcohol outside the hours set by California law
- Selling or serving alcohol in areas of your establishment where your license does not permit
- Failing to check ID of those patrons who appear to be younger than 30
- Allowing untrained and uncertified staff to serve alcohol
- Serving alcohol to minors
Selling or serving alcohol to someone under age 21 can have serious and long-lasting ramifications, including the loss of your liquor license. It is also critical that your employees can recognize fake IDs. Adequate training may reduce the chances that the actions of one of your employees will jeopardize your license to sell liquor. However, you always have the options of reaching out to a legal professional if you have questions or concerns about the laws related to your business and your license.