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California Liquor License Laws: After Hours Sales

California liquor license laws are very specific regarding the sale and consumption of alcohol after the hour of 2:00am and before 6:00am.  Not only is it illegal to sell alcoholic beverages during this time frame, but it is also illegal to allow the consumption of alcohol on your premises between 2:00-6:00am.  This means that even if a patron buys the alcohol prior to 2:00am, it can not be consumed on premises after 2:00am.

It is very noteworthy to realize that this law also applies to employees. So having employees remain on premises and enjoy a cocktail after hours is not permissible.

There are very strict and severe penalties for violations, including potential fines of thousands of dollars and license suspensions for even first-time offenses.  Business owners must be very diligent in their practice to adhere to this and all sections of the California Code.

The video below provides more information.  Please contact our office if you have additional questions.


California Liquor License Laws | Penalties for Violations

Violations of California liquor license laws can result in a wide variety of consequences which can range from a warning letter to full revocation of the license.

Both aggravating and mitigating factors will be weighed by the Alcoholic Beverage Control board in levying the appropriate fine or suspension, but the ABC will often remain fairly uniform in their actions against licensees for violations.  At times, an offer in compromise of a license suspension may be accepted (paying a fine rather than having the license suspended), but there are varying factors which will be considered by the ABC in determining if such an offer will be accepted.

If you find yourself in a situation facing sanctions by the ABC and have questions or concerns, please contact our office at (855) 774-9200.

The video below will provide additional information.


California Liquor License Laws Against Retail to Retail Sales

Many licensees who hold a California liquor license allowing them to make retail alcohol sales do not realize that they must purchase their alcohol from a wholesale licensee.

In a simplified example, the owner of a liquor store who runs out of a specific brand of alcohol can not make a quick trip to the nearest grocery store or other retailer to purchase product that will then be resold.  Doing so is a violation of California liquor license statutes and it could result in a fine of up to $3,000 and a 15 day license suspension.

Retailers must also take note that large warehouse stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club, while they give the appearance of being a wholesale distributor, only hold retail licenses and therefore one can not purchase alcoholic beverages at these establishments for the purpose of resale.

The video below provides more information but if you have specific questions, please contact our office directly for assistance.  (855) 774-9200


Abiding By Your California Liquor License Requirements

The Alcoholic Beverage Control in California takes stringent steps to assure that licensees are abiding by the terms of their license type. One common violation is a restaurant or bona fide eating place that also has a California liquor license to have a bar. This is typically a Type 47 or 41 California liquor license.

With these license types, operators must maintain a restaurant that serves meals during normal meal times (more than snacks or appetizers during happy hour).  Often, as the business evolves, it becomes more of a “bar” and less of a “restaurant” and this could pose problems should the ABC perform a random check or audit of the premises. It could even result in a suspension of your license.

The video below explains this issue in more detail, but should you have questions or find yourself in this situation, please contact our office for more information.  (855) 744-9200


Selling Alcohol to Minors | California Liquor License Laws

The California liquor license laws regarding the sale of alcohol to minors are perhaps the most stringent set of regulations and should be taken extremely seriously by establishment owners.

If you are found selling alcohol to minors, you will face a license suspension of 15 days and fine of $1,500-3,000 on the very first offense.  The second offense carries a 25 day suspension and a $5,000-20,000 fine and a third offense can result in a complete revocation of your license.

In addition, you could face criminal charges and/or civil litigation as a result of selling alcohol to minors.

The video below provides more information.  Please contact our office if you have any questions.


California Liquor License Laws | Sales to the Intoxicated

California liquor license laws are very strict regarding the sales of alcohol to individuals who are obviously intoxicated.  This is most commonly thought of as an issue in a bar where a patron has become overly intoxicated.  However, the law also applies to retail stores.

Failure to comply with this law can result in the suspension of your California liquor license for 15 days for your first offense and up to a 45 day suspension for multiple violations within a three year period.  The California ABC takes this matter very seriously so please make sure your employees are properly trained and diligent about their alcoholic beverage sales.

The video below provides more information.  Please contact our office at (855) 774-9200 if you have questions or need assistance.

California Liquor License Changes Regarding Cider

As of January 1, 2014, holders of a Type 01 California liquor license (large brewery) are now able to produce both apple and pear ciders. Previously cider was considered to be a wine product and Type 01 license holders were not permitted to make it.

There were a number of other statute changes that occurred on January 1, 2014.  Please contact us if you have additional questions or need assistance.

The video below provides more information regarding the change in the cider provision.


California Liquor License Laws Regarding Home Brew

California Liquor License Update…

At the beginning of 2014, the California liquor license statute regarding home brew was changed.  A home brewer is now allowed to donate their brew to a charitable event, where it can then be sold or consumed.

The interesting aspect of this liquor law change is that the California State law may now be inconsistent with the Federal laws regarding home brew.  Therefore we recommend that home brewers exercise caution.

The video below provides more information, but we would encourage home brewers to contact us prior to donating their product so we can assist in making sure all laws, State and Federal, are followed.


California Liquor License Law: Returning Beer from an Event

As of January 1, 2014, the California liquor license statute has changed with regards to returning unused beer from a catered event. For instance, if a caterer orders excess beer for a large wedding reception or major event and finds themselves with a great deal of unopened beer when the event has concluded, California liquor license laws now permit the beer wholesaler to accept returns on the product.

Please view the brief video below for more information and contact our office directly if you have any questions.


California Liquor License Laws | Online Alcohol Sales

California liquor license code has always allowed off-sale retailers to accept orders via phone and then deliver the alcoholic beverages via their own delivery service or a third party carrier such as UPS. However, the laws did NOT allow the retailers to accept orders via email or electronic ordering such as through their website.

Many off-sale retailers have not been complying with this statute for years but now, in a recent update by the California legislature, it is finally legal to accept such orders electronically.   Please view the video below for more information and contact us if you have questions.


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