Saturday, 9:06 a.m.
Anyway, here’s how the ABC’s Grant Assistance Program (GAP) works . . .
If your law enforcement agency receives a grant from the ABC, local officers conduct both prevention and enforcement programs. Here are just a few examples of the many innovative programs local agencies use to prevent and address alcohol-related crime:
Prevention programs are aimed at keeping alcohol-related violations from happening in the first place. An IMPACT inspection is one example.
- During an IMPACT inspection, local officers (often teamed up with the ABC) will stop in your business, identify themselves and do a compliance check. They actually have a checklist and look for areas of non-compliance. They look for proper signage, loitering, adequate food service and many other things.
- Now, they aren’t there to make arrests or to cite you–although it could happen for a serious violation. It’s more of a public relations effort.
- This program allows you to focus on fixing any problems at your business without getting into trouble with the ABC. If officers find any areas of non-compliance, they’ll let you know, and they’ll come back another time to see if you took care of the problem.
Enforcement programs investigate complaints of illegal activity such as:
- Sales to minors, including police decoys
- Shoulder-tapping (adults who illegally furnish alcohol to police decoys outside your business)
- Sales to obviously intoxicated persons
- Disorderly house (this is a licensed business that is disruptive with noise, loud music, ongoing crimes like drunks, fights, assaults, prostitution, drugs, etc.)
- Law enforcement problem (this is a licensed business that creates excessive calls for service and is draining the resources of the local law enforcement agency)
- Retail operating standards (this law addresses “quality of life” issues and applies to liquor stores and bars. It regulates things like litter, loitering, drinking on the property and excessive signage)
The best advice is to be proactive all of the time. Just because your local police or sheriff’s department didn’t get an ABC grant THIS year . . .
. . . Local law enforcement throughout the state are doing alcohol enforcement with or without grant funding because (they are required by law to do it)
ABC has been giving grants to local law enforcement agencies for nearly 15 years now. That means local agencies are better trained and equipped than ever before in alcohol prevention and enforcement. Your local agencies could very well be one of those agencies.
ABC investigators are still doing enforcement, especially during the holidays.
Here are a few of the controls you should have in place now and always:
- Hire adequate staff and properly train them
- Have all employees read and sign a copy of your written alcohol policies
- Properly post any required signage for your license type
- Make sure any ABC license conditions and retail operating standards are readily available for inspection by officers
- Remind your employees of ABC and local law enforcement’s legal authority to visit and inspect all areas of your licensed business at any time–without a search warrant or probable cause. This includes your bar, back bar and office.
Be proactive and pay attention to detail. That’s the best way to prevent problems. If you have questions on any of this, get in touch with me.
Like President Kennedy once said, “The time to fix the leak in the roof is before it rains.”
Stay Safe and Legal,
Liquor License Advisor