Liquor Laws

In New York State, the State Liquor Authority (SLA) is responsible for reviewing and issuing liquor license applications and ensuring compliance by license holders with Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) law. Navigating ABC law to prepare a liquor license application worthy of approval has become increasingly difficult and more complicated. By virtue of the new rules issued by the New York State Liquor Authority, an application will not be accepted by the Liquor Authority Intake Unit if it does not meet the essential requirements, and does not have the proper documentation. In most cases, it will be mailed right back as rejected for incompleteness. Professional assistance with preparing and filing your application will reduce delays with errors and omissions. An experienced attorney can fully explain all of the procedures, including notifying the local community board as well as what is required if an appearance in front of the community board becomes necessary, or what requirements trigger a 500-foot rule hearing at the New York State Liquor Authority.

Time is money. Delays can negatively affect your bottom line. With attorney certification, professional assistance is a worthwhile investment. As of October 1, 2009, attorneys may certify your retail application for the State Liquor Authority SLA Examiner, expediting the process tremendously. You may be able to get your application in a matter of weeks, not months.

For liquor license holders, mistakes and violations can cause a suspension for 2 years for the premises and/or costly fines. An attorney familiar with ABC law can provide you with invaluable legal advice and assistance subsequent to your premises receiving summonses from the police department, violations notices from the State Liquor Authority or other city and state agencies, and can prepare you for the future (unannounced and surprise) inspections. Additional violations could result in a large civil penalty, the loss of a liquor license or even worse - the permanent loss of your privilege to serve alcohol, perhaps effectively closing business. If you are a landlord who faces these issues, you cannot rent or sell the premises to anyone seeking a liquor license for at least 2 years. You may also compromise your future ability to hold a license or work at a retail location selling alcohol.

Written By:

Tracy Jong