Keeping Communities Safe
Through Enforcement


One of the three pillars of our mission statement is enforcement. ABC engages in several programs to protect the public by enforcing the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.


First responders to alcohol-related emergencies immediately notify ABC when an incident involves a person under 21 and an alcoholic beverage that results in great bodily injury or death.

Alcohol Policing Partnership

ABC works with law enforcement agencies to eliminating the crime and public nuisance problems associated with problem alcoholic beverage outlets.

Trade Enforcement

Administration and enforcement of the trade practices provisions of the ABC ACT.

Minor Decoy Program

Reduce the number of licensees who sell alcohol to minors and reduce youth access to alcohol.

Shoulder tap program

Reduce underage consumption of alcohol by deterring adults from furnishing alcohol to minors outside of stores.

Problem Locations

File a complaint against a licensee. 

File a Complaint

Anonymously report problems involving a licensee, licensed premises, or department employee. All reports will be investigated by ABC investigators.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does ABC have employees who enforce the ABC Act?

Yes, ABC employs Agents who are fully sworn peace officers that enforce the provisions of the ABC Act.

What should a licensee know about ABC Agents

Police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and ABC Agents are all sworn law enforcement officers (peace officers) with powers of arrest. Whether in plain clothes or uniform, peace officers have the legal right to visit and inspect any licensed premises at any time during business hours without a search warrant. This includes inspecting the bar and back bar, store room, office, closed or locked cabinets, safes, kitchen, or any other area within the licensed premises. It is legal and reasonable for licensees to exclude the public from some areas of the premises. However, licensees cannot and must not deny entry to, resist, delay, obstruct, or assault a peace officer.
(Sections 25616, 25753 and 25755; Sections 148 and 242 Penal Code)

Do ABC Agents wear uniforms?

Yes, when they are working in a high-profile capacity. However, ABC Agents typically work in plain clothes.

May the licensee refuse an ABC Agent permission to examine the licensee's books and records pertaining to the licensed business?

No. Any licensee who refuses to permit ABC Agents to inspect or examine their books and records for which provision is made in the Act is guilty of a misdemeanor. In addition, it is a misdemeanor for a licensee to falsify or to fail to keep books and records required to be kept under the provisions of the Act or the regulations of the Department.
(Sections 25617, 25751, 25753 and 25755)