Top Tips for Liquor Licensees
- Notify The Police Of Illegal Activity
Liquor licensees are required to promptly notify the police regarding any illegal activity on their premises of which they are aware, including, but not limited to, batteries.
If there is a battery in an establishment that holds a liquor license, the establishment is required to call 911 even if the victim calls 911 or indicates they do not want to call 911.
You are also required to call 911 for illegal activities that occur outside your premises if the incident occurs in front of your premises or in your parking lot.
- Don’t Sell Alcohol To Minors or Allow Minors to Sell Alcohol
It is a violation of city and state law to sell, give or deliver alcohol to a minor (someone under the age of 21).
Minors cannot sell or handle any liquor. Tavern licensees cannot employ minors. Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity liquor licensees may employ minors but minors are prohibited from serving or selling or having any contact with alcohol.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Stop Alcohol Service to Intoxicated Patrons
It is illegal to sell, give or deliver alcohol to an intoxicated person and a violation of state law. Train and educate your staff to recognize when a patron is intoxicated. Once there is evidence of intoxication, staff must be confident enough to cut that patron off and stop serving that individual.
- Be Careful with Happy Hour Specials
A new law signed on July 15, 2015 reinstates many previously banned “happy hour” practices in Illinois, view details and FAQ’s at: http://www.illinois.gov/ilcc/about/Pages/HappyHoursFAQs.aspx
- Timely Notify BACP of Corporate Changes
You are required to notify the Department of Business Affairs & Consumer Protection (BACP) of any internal changes in your corporation within 30 days of that change. For example, if the owners of your business change, you are required to notify the BACP of that change within 30 days of the change. Notification is made by paying for a change of officer application at BACP. Common changes in ownership, include, but are not limited to, death of an owner, addition of an owner, removal of an owner, etc.
- Display A Friendly Neighbor Sign As A Tavern Licensee
A Tavern licensee is required to have a friendly neighbor sign displayed in a conspicuous place. The tavern can create its own friendly neighbor sign. However, the sign must be 14 inches by 14 inches and state: “A person existing this establishment must depart in a quiet and courteous fashion and must not cause disturbances to nearby residents, litter or damage private property.”
- Avoid Exceeding Occupancy Limits
A violation of the occupancy limits set for your establishment could lead to hefty fines, closures and even revocation of your license. To safeguard against this, ensure that you and your staff are counting the number of people that enter your establishment. We strongly urge you to use a counter system at the door so there are no mistakes.
It is the responsibility of all licensees to operate and maintain a safe environment for your patrons. It is also your responsibility to be a “good neighbor” to the residents and businesses in your community.
Remember: The information provided on this site is not legal advice and is not exhaustive. It is the licensees’ responsibility to keep abreast of the current laws that apply to them.