The Liquor Authority has the power to investigate infractions of the ABC Law and issue violations to establishments with liquor licenses. These are the most common violations of the ABC Law. However, they are not the only actions that can result in receiving a violation.
- Sale to a minor (under 21 years old) (It is important to note that the Members of the New York State Liquor Authority have directed that ANY sale to a person under 16 can most likely result in revocation of a liquor license)
- Sale to an intoxicated person
- Allowing patrons to consume alcoholic beverages during prohibited hours of consumption
- The employment of minor as a hostess, waitress, waiter or any other capacity where the duties of such person is required to sell, dispense or handle alcoholic beverages. Bus persons and dishwashers who handle containers which have held alcoholic beverages must be at least 16 years old
- Disorderly premises which include gambling in the establishment, lewd and indecent conduct, assaults, narcotics, and prostitution
- Live Music and/or dancing without a valid Cabaret Permit (in NYC)
- Service outside without a valid Sidewalk Café Permit (In NYC)
Violations of the ABC Law and the Rules of the New York State Liquor Authority can result in the imposition of various penalties against licensees. These penalties range from:
- Suspension - The right to buy or sell alcoholic beverages is suspended for a set period
- Cancellation - The license is taken away, but there are no time restrictions on reapplying for another license
- Revocation - The license to sell alcoholic beverages is taken away and the revoked licensee or any person who has an interest in a revoked license cannot hold a license or have an interest in any premises where alcoholic beverages are sold for two years. The SLA may also deny a new license at that same location for two years
- Civil Penalty - A monetary penalty of up to $10,000 per violation
- Bond Claim - A claim for payment is made against the Surety Company that issued the bond that accompanied your filed application
- A Two Year Proscription on the premises or principal (seen in cases of revocation)
When issued a notice of violation from the Liquor Authority, you are entitled to an administrative hearing. This is your opportunity to offer a defense or explanation to an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) regarding the alleged violations. Present at these hearings will be the licensee, licensee’s attorney, ALJ, State Liquor Authority Attorney & any witnesses presented by the SLA or Licensee (Police Officers, SLA Enforcement Officers, bartenders, managers, etc.).
The Administrative Law Judge will render a decision based on the facts, evidence and testimony presented at the hearing. This decision is regarded as merely a recommendation to the Members of the Authority (Chairman, two commissioners of the SLA). They will make the inevitable ruling, in a “Majority rules” fashion.
You, as the licensee, will be privy to the findings of the ALJ prior to the Board rendering their judgment. If you disagree with any of these findings, or if new evidence has surfaced since the hearing, you are entitled to draft a Letter of Contraversion that the Board will consider along with the hearing materials before a decision is made.