The holidays bring with them increased liquor sales and added crowds to convenience and grocery stores, restaurants, bars and other businesses.
The state’s 17,000 liquor licensees and their businesses contribute billions of dollars to Michigan’s economy and help create thousands of good paying jobs. Whether you’re a convenience store or a restaurant, it’s important to remind your employees of the state’s laws. Educate management and staff to apply all policies consistently to ensure a safe and successful holiday season.
Tips for Liquor Licensees
Serving Minors/Fake Identification Licensees always need to check the identification (ID) of a person who appears less than 21 years old.
Many counterfeits are caught when staff takes the time to be sure the ID corresponds to the person in front of them. Can the person answer basic questions based on the details of the ID? If you think the ID is false, you can call law enforcement for assistance.
Intoxicated Customers/Over Serving Michigan law prohibits licensees from selling or serving alcoholic beverages to individuals who appear intoxicated. They are also prohibited from allowing an intoxicated person to consume alcoholic beverages on the licensed premises. It is the licensee’s responsibility to make certain that no one becomes intoxicated in their business, and that any intoxicated person who enters their establishment is not allowed to purchase or consume alcohol.
Many excellent training courses are available to aid licensees and their employees in identifying intoxicated individuals. Contact the local authorities or the MLCC regarding server training programs. There are serious penalties for selling or furnishing alcoholic beverages to minors and intoxicated individuals, including criminal penalties, fines and possible license revocation. The licensee may also be held liable in civil suits when the sale or furnishing of alcoholic beverages is found to be the proximate cause of damage, injury or death of an innocent party.
Hours of Operation Licensees need to ensure management and staff knows and understands Michigan’s unique regulation regarding hours of operation during the holidays.
Christmas Sales: The sale of alcoholic beverages must end on Christmas Eve, December 24, by midnight and may not begin again until noon on Christmas, December 25. Normal legal hours for alcohol sales resume on December 26.
New Year’s Sales: On-premises licensees – sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day. Off-premises licensees – (convenience food, drug, grocery stores, etc.) are prohibited from selling alcoholic beverages between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day.
Other Prohibited Acts During the busy holiday season, liquor licensees should maintain a heightened sense of awareness of potentially illegal activity, including violence, drugs, and gambling.
Maintaining control of the premises is the licensee’s responsibility. Keep order and control of the premises by constant observance of customers and situations. Licensees do not have enforcement authority, and cannot arrest anyone. However, employees can demand that a customer leave the premises. If the situation appears threatening, call the local police.
Be aware, however, that excessive police calls may result in violations. Don’t let your business become a place noted for illegal activities thereby jeopardizing your liquor license and your standing in the community. Work with law enforcement and the MLCC to reduce or eliminate illegal activities.
Our licensees play a very important role in the state’s economy. By educating their employees on how to comply with Michigan’s liquor laws, job providers can continue to grow business and protect their customers. Licensees can find more helpful information on the MLCC website: www.michigan.gov/lcc. For further questions, contact the commission at 866-813-0011 or firstname.lastname@example.org.