Colorado Liquor Violation – What You Need To Know

Fake IDIf you, or your company hold a Colorado Liquor License, you are subject to the laws and rules that govern the manufacture, distribution, sale and service of alcohol in the State of Colorado.  Your local liquor license authority and the State of Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division oversee compliance with liquor rules.  

While some Colorado liquor license holders will never be cited for liquor law violations, many more will.  Even with the best training, mistakes happen.  The key is to understand who is being cited with the Colorado liquor law violation, why the liquor violations occurred and to know your options.

The most common Colorado Liquor Violations we see are:

  • Sale of alcohol to minors
  • Food service requirements
  • Sale of alcohol to intoxicated
  • Hidden ownership
  • Failure to Register Manager

First, Who is Being Cited with the Colorado Liquor Violation?

Both individuals and businesses can be cited for liquor violations.  Liquor law enforcement in Colorado includes both criminal and administrative (license) sanctions for law violators.  Generally, criminal citations are given to individuals for liquor law violations and Colorado liquor licensed businesses are cited administratively.  Often, both criminal and administrative citations will occur.  Take for instance a waiter at a restaurant who serves alcohol to a minor: the waiter can face criminal charges and the restaurant owner (licensee) can face administrative penalty.

Second, Why did the Colorado Liquor Violation occur?

It is important to understand how and why the liquor violation occurred, and how it will be prevented in the future.  In the above example, better training and clear guidelines for checking guests’ IDs may have prevented the serving of alcohol to a minor.  Understanding what went wrong and demonstrating to the local liquor licensing authority or the State of Colorado the steps you’ve taken to fix the problem is very important.

Third, Know your options.  

Whether you’ve been cited criminally and/or administratively with a Colorado liquor violation, you have rights.  As a criminal matter, you have constitutional rights and guarantees and can take your case to trial where the state will be require to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you broke the law.  If you have been charged criminally, you should seek assistance from an attorney.

Administratively liquor violations are a bit different.  You will receive a “Notice of Hearing and Order to Show Cause” regarding the violation and will be required to attend a hearing.  You’ll have the opportunity to appear in person and “show cause” why your Colorado liquor license should not be suspended.  It is very helpful to have an attorney help you as have the ability to reach a resolution prior to the hearing and understanding what options are available in this setting are critical.

Colorado Liquor License Lawyers of LaszloLaw

Our Colorado liquor license lawyers are ready to assist in obtaining a Colorado Liquor License and defend your brewery, bar, or restaurant against any Colorado liquor license violations.  Whether you need to transfer, modify, or obtain a new liquor license, our beverage attorneys will start by addressing your needs and continue to provide guidance along the way.  Your goals and bottom line are our priorityContact the Colorado liquor license lawyers at LaszloLaw today to discuss your Colorado liquor license needs.