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CL Liquor License Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Getting a liquor license for your business can be a time-consuming and costly affair. It is important that individuals know what exactly they require and the liquor regulations and laws set by the state.

A liquor license is a license from the government that permits businesses to produce, distribute and/or sell liquor. Most people think you only need a license to sell alcohol.

Different Types of Liquor Licenses

Businesses that sell alcohol are not the only ones that need liquor licenses.

The main category of liquor licenses involves businesses and individuals who sell alcohol. This includes restaurants, grocery stores, bars, hotels, and any other establishment that sells alcohol.

However, businesses and individuals that manufacture and distribute alcohol also need liquor licenses to operate. For example, a farmer who grows crops intended to produce alcohol will require a license in some states. Additionally, a business that supplies alcohol to ships also needs licenses.

Different businesses get different licenses based on their preference. Most businesses prefer an all-pour license which lets them serve beer, wine or spirits to their customers. Some will only need a license to sell wine or beer exclusively.

Other businesses may get licenses that allow their customers to bring their own alcohol into their establishment. However, they are barred from selling alcohol themselves. Short-term and seasonal permits are also available.

The specific rules governing alcohol production, distribution and sale vary from state to state and it is important to get to know the laws in your state. This can involve reading an entire chapter of your alcohol law. If you don’t have the time or patience for this, you can get in touch with a good Long Island lawyer who can explain the laws that are specific to your business type and situation. For example, if you want to open a summer tavern, then a good lawyer will explain the laws specific to that so you do not have to go through an entire document. Furthermore, there’s a lot more laws governing alcohol that only a lawyer knows and can explain to you.

How Do I Go About Getting a License?

If you choose to go with a lawyer, then they will do everything for you start to finish. You will not have to be in communication with the relevant authorities or follow up on anything. Your only job will be to wait.

However, it is always prudent to be enlightened on the process of getting a license in your state. The basic steps are general for every state. If more is required, then a visit to a government office or a lawyer will shed more light.

The first step in getting a liquor license is to visit the right authorities. This is usually the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.

Here you will be informed on several things including the cost, how much time it will take, the specific licenses(s) required for your business endeavor, and whether a license is available in your area. If no license is available and there is a business that is selling theirs, you will be informed.

After you have been given the requirements, you may be given a list of other permits and licenses that should be up-to-date. Some of the basics include an employer identification number, business license, music license, health permit, alcohol tax permit, building permit, food handler’s permit and sales tax permit among others. This list varies with business type and location.

In this case, a liquor license lawyer is aware of the various other permits you should hold within your locality. They can advise you on what you need to do before you are ready to apply for a business permit.

The last step is of course, filing for an application of the liquor license. Application forms can be found on your state government website or at their offices. You are required to pay a processing fee. Other requirements include your fingerprints, food service operator certificate and your business lease agreement. A background check is also done in certain cases.

It is clear that getting a liquor license is a daunting task and the back and forth might cause a business-owner to give up entirely. A good lawyer scan save you the trouble.

If you hold a club license for serving alcohol at an establishment, then you don’t need to be told how vital it is as a means of staying in business. But many business owners are unaware of how hard this type of license can be to hang onto. “CL” licenses are regulated by state. While there is some regulatory variety, one common element among them is what’s referred to as “liquor liability”. Liquor liability addresses the legal responsibilities of hosts serving alcohol to guests. Specifically, it means damages caused by intoxicated guests either to themselves or others. Real life examples include falls, drowning, freezing to death, or injuries and fatalities caused by intoxicated driving.

Legally, those who are potentially “liquor liable” are separated into two groups. There are private parties who serve alcohol as part of an unofficial gathering or party. And there are commercial parties who are officially licensed to serve alcohol on their premises as part of their businesses. Hotels, nightclubs, taverns, private clubs, and restaurants all fall under the classification of commercial parties. While there are obviously great differences between these two parties, liquor liability makes some common assumptions about these groups. Liquor liability assumes that:

  • a designated host will be serving alcohol at these locations
  • the host is aware that the potential for intoxication exists
  • the host has a plan for dealing with intoxicated guests

Liquor License Rules Keep Changing

For many years, “liquor liability” was considered met by both private and commercial hosts if intoxicated guests were refused further alcohol and ejected from location premises. As our society became increasingly mobile and offsite accidents involving alcohol increasingly common, a number of states passed “social liability laws”. These laws compel hosts to accept some consequences for the actions of departing guests that the hosts know or suspect are inebriated. This particular liability has proven somewhat controversial, and some states have also passed laws to protect hosts from having to assume social liability for guests under certain circumstances. These rules generally also apply to the hosts of office parties and business events.

The Rules Are Tougher For Club Owners

Commercial enterprises with various kinds of liquor licenses (such as a club license) are another story. Businesses that serve liquor professionally are considered “dram shops” (a dram is a measurement of alcohol), and “dram shop laws” can hold businesses responsible for the actions of intoxicated guests if:

  • establishment workers illegally serve a guest
  • workers deliberately serve a visibly intoxicated guest
  • the serving of alcohol indirectly leads to a third party injury

As with private party hosts, state laws can vary, and most states have some laws in place to protect commercial hosts from certain kinds of litigation. However, many state and community governments have the right to revoke liquor licenses and permits from establishments if they:

  • illegally serve patrons
  • deliberately serve intoxicated patrons
  • attract “undesirable” patrons

Business owners can also lose club liquor licenses if they are found guilty of “moral turpitude”. While definitions are determined by state, moral turpitude is generally defined as allowing gross or vulgar acts to occur. Clubs that knowingly allow prostitutes or drug dealers to solicit clients on an establishment premises would be examples of moral turpitude.

How An Attorney Can Help

Businesses who lose a CL license can’t serve alcohol under any circumstances. CL licenses can be suspended temporarily (from a few months to a year or more) or lost permanently. And the loss of a CL license can often mean that a business owner is permanently barred from obtaining any others. These license losses can occur even if owners have no direct knowledge of events leading to them.

Business owners who are facing hearings from state liquor boards concerning CL licenses shouldn’t risk their reputations or livelihoods. Instead, they should retain legal consul to:

  • review cases
  • interview witnesses
  • file paperwork
  • attend hearings
  • help client to remain in or return to licensing board compliance
  • help to end suspensions and get licenses restored

It’s already challenging enough in the hospitality industry without dealing with the stress of a CL license loss. And with the right legal consul, club owners can protect both their business and patrons and focus on other important issues.

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