09 Oct 17


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Last Updated on: 3rd August 2023, 07:38 pm

Defending Restaurant Liquor License Violations in the State of New York
The New York Liquor Authority of the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control oversees the licensing of restaurants that serve any type of alcoholic beverage. The Liquor Authority is the agency that initiates action against a restaurant, or an owner or employee of a restaurant, that is alleged to have violated the law or regulation associated with a restaurant liquor license.

When an allegation is made that a restaurant, or someone associated with a restaurant, has violated New York liquor laws or regulations, the consequences can be serious. A restaurant, or someone associated with it, that has been charged with a license violation, or even a crime associated with the liquor laws of the state of New York, can face extremely serious consequences in light of an allegation associated with a liquor license violation.

Serving Alcohol to a Minor

One of the more common types of liquor license violations are those involving serving alcohol to minors. An allegation based on serving alcohol to a minor can result a two prong course of action from the New York Liquor authority and even the criminal justice system in the country where the incident arose.

The restaurant itself can face sanctions associated with a minor being served alcohol on the premises. These sanctions are graduated. In other words, the sanctions imposed for serving alcohol to a minor become more severe after the first incident.

The first time a restaurant faces an allegation of serving liquor to a minor, the establishment is likely to face a fine. After the first allegation, a restaurant may face not only a fine, but a license suspension for a period of time. What that means is that the restaurant will be prohibited from serving alcohol on the premises for a specific period of time. The first time a restaurant faces a license suspension, the time period is not likely to be lengthy.

The severity can increase sharply if a restaurant continues to have issues with serving alcohol to minors. The New York Liquor Authority ultimately will revoke a restaurant’s liquor license for repeated violations of the law prohibiting serving liquor to a minor.

A restaurant employee that serves liquor to a minor can face sanctions as well. As is the case with the sanction against a restaurant, those that might be imposed upon an employee are graduated. The first time an employee serves to a minor, he or she is not likely to face a significant sanction. After the first time, the sanctions potentially can become seriously, and significantly so over time.

Serving or Operating Outside Licensed Time Period

Restaurants in the state of New York can only serve liquor during specific hours each and every day. If for some reason aa restaurant serves outside of that time period, the establishment can face sanctions. As is the case with other types of liquor license related violations, those associated with serving liquor outside of appropriate legal time periods are graduated. In other words, they become more severe after the initial time this type of violation occurs.

Failure to Pay Liquor Taxes

A restaurant that serves liquor has the responsibility to pay an assortment of taxes. These include not just standard New York and other sales taxes, but those that arise out of holding a liquor license.

The reality is that a surprising number of establishments in New York that serve liquor, including restaurants, fail to properly pay liquor taxes due and owing to the state. This type of situation not only results in financial penalties being assessed against a restaurant, but can rise to the level of jeopardizing a restaurant’s liquor license over time as well.

Retain an Experienced New York Restaurant License Violation Attorney

A wise course to protect a restaurant’s legal interests in the face of a liquor license violation is to retain an experienced lawyer. There are attorneys in New York who have a background in defending restaurants in cases centering on violations of liquor laws, in cases that can negatively impact an establishment’s liquor license. The first step in retaining legal counsel is scheduling an initial consultation. Typical a lawyer will provide an initial consultation to a restaurant facing some type of liquor license related violation at not charge.