Law

What are your obligations as a liquor licensee?

Liquor licensees must be knowledgeable and current on liquor rules. All licensees must display a copy of the license at or near the doorway to the premises. And here are the liquor license obligations.

Responsible persons

One of the liquor license obligations is to be a responsible person. When the venue is available to the public, an authorized responsible person must be on duty.

If you do not have a person in charge, you may be fined $1,200 with a maximum penalty of $20,000. You can request an exemption to have a responsible person on duty in some instances.

Responsible service of alcohol and other training

The liquor licensee is also responsible for ensuring that the following individuals have undergone authorized reliable service of alcohol training (RSA):

  • any employees (including volunteers) who sell, offer for sale or serve alcoholic beverages
  • all licensed premises security personnel

These companies are exempt from the mandatory training:

  • a liquor production and sales license that does not permit the selling of alcoholic beverages for consumption on approved premises
  • a packaged liquor sales license limited to direct sales
  • unless the permission is for a restriction on the license requiring the licensee to comply
  • if a resident is sold or supplied liquor for use on the permitted premises

RSA assists in the regulation of the harmful effects of alcohol and deals with:

  • Minors being served alcohol (anyone under 18)
  • Violence and criminality associated with alcohol
  • Customers who are intoxicated and unruly
  • Disturbing noises

Delivery of alcohol

Another thing in liquor license obligations is the delivery of alcohol. If your license permits you to sell alcohol directly to customers, such as over the phone or online, you must:

  • Present your license number on all promotional direct sales materials, such as booklets, websites, and newsletters.
  • Check that the individual providing the alcohol is at least 18 years old.
  • Obtain the buyer’s date of birth at the time of purchase unless it has previously been submitted.
  • Make sure that the individual delivering the alcohol understands that it is provided:
  • to the responsible adult who purchased the alcohol
  • to the adult selected by the buyer
  • in line with the purchaser’s instructions, such as leaving the alcohol unattended

If you sell alcohol to someone under 18, you can be fined up to $20,000 for a first offence up to $40,000 for a second offence. You will also have a subsequent offence unless you meet the following conditions:

  • You can demonstrate that you needed the buyer to disclose their date of birth at the time of sale or that it was provided before.
  • You were not aware of the alleged offence and can not reasonably have been expected to be mindful of it.

You can also face a $10,000 punishment if you hire or engage a person under 18 to transport alcohol.

To give licensees and delivery companies time to prepare for the shift, penalties for deliveries will not be imposed until July 1, 2019.

Alcohol deliveries may still be left unattended if the buyer asks the licensed seller explicitly.

A person supplying alcohol is required to:

  • seek proof of identity and age from the person taking the delivery
  • Maintain a one-year record of the evidence provided.

If you do to comply with these rules, you may be fined $315 on the spot, with a maximum penalty of $5,000.

Declared criminal organizations

Anyone wearing or carrying objects linked with proclaimed crime syndicates, sometimes known as gang members or motorcycle gangs, is not permitted to enter or remain on licensed premises per the liquor license obligations.

If a person does any of the following, they are committing a crime:

  • access in licensed premises while wearing or carrying a forbidden item or anything bearing the name or emblem of a designated criminal organization, including:
  • Clothing
  • Jewellery
  • any further accoutrement
  • When asked to leave a licensed establishment by the administration or the police, refuse.

You are breaking the law if you allow a person wearing or carrying a forbidden item to access or stay on your licensed premises as a licensee, responsible person, or employee.

Noise and disturbances

As a licensee that follows the liquor license obligations, you have a duty to the people living and working in the vicinity. Also, you must create and maintain suitable measures to ensure that individuals entering or leaving your premises cause as little disruption as possible:

  • offence
  • annoyance
  • disturbance
  • noise

Good management entails monitoring within and outside the permitted premises and responding favourably to any concerns from adjacent neighbours.

Signage

As part of the liquor license obligations, you must display signs in compliance with the Commissioner’s specifications as a license holder.

Display specifications

Failure to fulfil requirements may result in punishment or a penalty:

  • Signs must be printed precisely as obtained from the Consumer and Business Services website. No changes or additions to the poster’s form or content are authorized.
  • Colour signs must be printed on A4 (210 x 297mm) paper.
  • Signs must be printed at a high enough quality to be easily legible.
  • Signs must be displayed so that their information is visible to the public.
  • Signs must be put at or near each entrance to licensed businesses where children are not authorized to enter.

Risk assessment and management plan

A management plan is required for all liquor license holders as part of the liquor license obligations. You may be required to disclose information to a Consumer and Business Services (CBS) officer.

CBS has created an assessment and management plan template to assist you, but it is not required to utilize it. Industry organizations can create templates for their members, or licensees can make their management plans.

Late night trading code of practice

The late-night trading code of practice applies to establishments that operate after 2 a.m. and forbids patrons from entering or re-entering licensed premises after 3 a.m.

The code addresses:

  • drink marshals
  • Beverage supply limits that encourage excessive/rapid consumption
  • limits on glassware usage
  • CCTV use
  • using metal detectors

Pay annual fee

Except for short-term license holders, all liquor licensees must pay an annual fee for their liquor license obligation. Consumer and Business Services (CBS) will send you an invoice each year, which you must pay by June 30.

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