Frequently Asked Questions

    En Espaņol

    ABC Administration

      1. How was ABC created?
      2. What is the organizational structure of ABC?
      3. What are the powers of ABC?

    Licenses

      4. What is an alcoholic beverage license?
      5. What are the types of retail licenses?
      6. What is a "bona fide public eating place"?
      7. May a person who holds a license for a bona fide public eating place lease out the food concession?
      8.What is meant by "public premises"?
      9.What beverages may the holder of an on-sale license sell for consumption off the licensed premises in original, sealed containers?
      10.Can any person obtain an alcoholic beverage license?
      11.When is a duplicate license required?
      12.When a license certificate is lost or destroyed, how may the licensee obtain a replacement?
      13.May ABC deny the renewal of an existing license?
      14.When must licenses be renewed?
      15.How soon does the license have to be put in use?
      16.May temporary licenses be obtained for picnics and social events?
      17.Where may alcoholic beverages be stored when there is no room for them on the licensed premises?
      18.How many feet must licensed premises be from a church, a school, or residences?
      19.May certain conditions be placed upon the exercise of a license?
      20.What is meant by license "limitation"?
      21.Is there a limit on the number of off-sale beer and wine licenses that may be issued in cities or counties?
      22.What organizations are eligible for a club license?
      23.Are such clubs restricted to on-sale privileges?

    License Transfers

      24.Can a license be transferred from one person to another person without making an application to ABC?
      25.Does the filing of the application for transfer accomplish the transfer of the license?
      26.How long does it normally take for the issuance or transfer of a license?
      27.Pending transfer of the license, may the intended transferee operate the licensed business?
      28.When the lease on the licensed premises is terminated and the premises must be vacated, what is required of the licensee?
      29.What steps are required for the issuance or transfer of an alcoholic beverage license?
      30.Does ABC notify local officials of the license application?
      31.Does ABC conduct an investigation of license applications?
      32.What are the responsibilities of a license applicant?
      33.In case of death or incompetency to act as a sole licensee, who may exercise the privileges of the license?
      34.Does the law prohibit pledging the transfer of a license as security for a loan or as security for the fulfillment of any agreement?
      35.How long can the licensed premises be closed before the licensee must surrender possession of the license?
      36.May an applicant have some assurance of the issuance of a license before construction of the premises to be licensed is begun or completed?
      37.Must a corporation licensed by ABC report ownership changes to ABC?
      38.Must a limited partnership licensed by ABC report ownership changes to ABC?
      39.Must a limited liability company licensed by ABC report ownership changes to ABC?

    Protests And Denials

      40.May any person protest the issuance of a license?
      41.What are some grounds for protestor denial?
      42.Must a protest from a city council or board of supervisors or local public official state a legal ground for denying an application?
      43.When may a protest be made?
      44.If a valid protest is made to the issuance of a license, will a hearing be held and, if so, where?
      45.If my application is protested, how long will it take for me to open my business ?

    Complaints Or Accusations

      46.What is the goal of ABC's disciplinary procedures?
      47.What consequences does a licensee face for violating the Act or Rules?
      48.How does the disciplinary process begin?
      49.How are investigations conducted, and by whom?
      50.What happens after the investigation?
      51.Who may make an accusation against a licensee?
      52.What is meant by a "verified" accusation?
      53.What are the legal grounds for an accusation?
      54.If an accusation is filed against a licensee, what rights does the licensee have?
      55.May a licensee pay a fine in lieu of serving a license suspension?
      56.What is the ABC penalty for selling an alcoholic beverage to a minor or permitting a minor to consume an alcoholic beverage in an on-sale premises?

    Enforcement And Violations

      57.Are local authorities empowered to enforce the Act?
      58.May local law enforcement agencies use minor decoys to buy alcoholic beverages from licensed premises?
      59.Does ABC have a staff of employees whose duty it is to enforce the Act? How are they identified?
      60.May the licensee refuse an ABC investigator permission to examine the licensee's books and records pertaining to the licensed business?
      61.What should a licensee know about ABC investigators and local law enforcement officers?
      62.What are Retail Operating Standards?
      63.Are there restrictions that apply to the sale of adult videos and adult magazines?
      64.Is there any requirement with regard to interior lighting of retail premises?
      65.What is a disorderly house?
      66.Is a licensee responsible for correcting nuisance conditions on or about the licensed premises?
      67.If a licensee violates the Pure Food and Drug Laws (Health and Safety Code), may his license be suspended or revoked?
      68.May a retail licensee import alcoholic beverages from outside the State?
      69.May any person other than a licensed importer bring alcoholic beverages into this State?
      70.With regard to purchase, consumption or possession of alcoholic beverages, what is the age of majority?
      71.What is the penalty for a person who furnishes alcohol to a minor?
      72.Would the licensee be in violation of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act for selling an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 who appeared to be twenty-one years of age or older?
      73.Is there anything a licensee or an employee may do to prevent selling to minors?
      74.What is documentary evidence of age and identity?
      75.What other defense is available to a licensee accused of selling to minors?
      76.May a minor be arrested for purchasing, consuming or possessing alcoholic beverages?
      77.Is there any law against minors attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages?
      78.May minors be employed in "on-sale" premises?
      79.May a minor enter and remain in a licensed premises even though the minor does not purchase or consume any alcoholic beverages?
      80.May an off-sale licensee hire minors or use the services of a person under 18 years of age for the sale of alcoholic beverages?
      81.May a habitual drunkard or an obviously intoxicated person be sold alcoholic beverages?
      82.How may a licensee determine whether a customer is obviously intoxicated?
      83.Is a retail licensee required to close the doors of the licensed premises and not serve alcoholic beverages during the hours that an election is being held?
      84.What are the lawful hours for retail sale of alcoholic beverages?
      85.At what time must a licensee cease sales of alcoholic beverages when the time changes from standard time to daylight savings time and vice versa?
      86.May an on-sale licensee stack drinks or sell and serve drinks a few minutes before 2 a.m. and permit patrons to remain on the premises consuming alcoholic beverages after that hour?
      87.May a retail licensee sell alcoholic beverages to another retailer for resale?
      88.May a licensee sell beer in unlabeled cans or bottles?
      89.Does the customer who requests an alcoholic drink by brand name have any assurance that the brand ordered will be served?
      90.May any person have on a licensed premises any alcoholic beverage other than the type authorized by the license?
      91.May wine be placed in decanting bottles by an on-sale licensee?
      92.May partially consumed wine bottles be removed from an on-sale licensed premises?
      93.Is the refilling of a distilled spirits bottle unlawful?
      94.May empty distilled spirits bottles be sold by an on-sale general licensee or his employees?
      95.Is there any law prohibiting the use of open pouring spouts?
      96.Must keg beer sold to consumers be registered?
      97.Are there any special restrictions for licensees who sell both alcoholic beverages and gasoline?

    Employees

      98.What is the Clerk's Affidavit and the warning sign relating to underage sales and purchases?
      99.Must a manager of an on-sale licensed business have the same qualifications required of a licensee?
      100.Is a licensee responsible for illegal acts of bartenders or other employees?
      101.May a licensee employ hosts, hostesses and entertainers, or permit any person, to solicit others to buy them drinks?

    Samples

      102.May retail licensees give samples of alcoholic beverages?
      103.Under what circumstances may wholesalers give samples of the alcoholic beverages they distribute to retail licensees?
      104.Is a retailer permitted to sell alcoholic beverages which have been given as samples?
      105.Can credit tokens be given to persons purchasing alcoholic beverages, highball glasses, etc.?
      106.If a retailer buys 100 cases of beer from a wholesaler, may any be given free?
      107.May an on-sale licensee place peanuts, popcorn and pretzels upon counters or tables for patrons?

    Wholesaler-Retailer Relations

      108.Is a wholesaler or manufacturer permitted to have any interest in an on-sale license?
      109.Are the restrictions placed upon wholesaler-retailer relations commonly referred to as Tied-House restrictions?
      110.Is it permissible for any type of retail licensee to have any ownership interest in the business, property or license of a wholesaler or manufacturer?
      111.May a retail licensee rent space to a wholesaler for the placing or painting of signs or window displays on or in retailer's premises?
      112.May a retailer accept any payment from a wholesaler for setting up an advertising display or performing a distribution service in connection with distilled spirits?
      113.What is consignment sale?
      114.Are consignment sales lawful under the Act?
      115.Is it lawful for a retail licensee to accept advertising specialties from wholesalers or manufacturers?
      116.When may a manufacturer or wholesaler make deliveries of alcoholic beverages to retail licensees?
      117.May retailers who hold the same type license agree to group purchase distilled spirits and wine (pool buying) from a wholesaler or rectifier?

    Price Posting

      118. Does the Act require alcoholic beverages to be "Fair Traded"?

    Signs

      119. May a wholesaler or manufacturer give a retailer a sign?
      120. How must spigot markers for draught beer be placed?
      121. What other requirements are there on maintaining signs?

    Records

      122. What records are retail licensees required to keep?
      123. Are retail licensees required to give sales invoices with liquor sold?
      124. Are licensees, other than retailers, required to keep records for departmental review?