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WAC 314-29-015

What are the penalties if a liquor license holder violates a liquor law or rule?

(1) The purpose of WAC 314-29-015 through 314-29-040 is to outline what penalty a liquor licensee can expect if a licensee or employee violates a liquor and cannabis board law or rule (the penalty guidelines for mandatory alcohol server training permit holders are in WAC 314-17-100 through 314-17-110). WAC rules listed in the categories provide reference areas, and may not be all inclusive. For purposes of this section, ancillary activities are defined as activities an alcohol manufacturer participates in and include all activities, licenses, and privileges involving the public, such as serving samples, operating a tasting room, conducting retail sales, serving alcohol under a restaurant license, or serving alcohol with a special occasion license.
(2) Penalties for violations by liquor licensees or employees are broken down into five categories:
(a) Group OnePublic safety violations, WAC 314-29-020.
(b) Group TwoRegulatory violations, WAC 314-29-025.
(c) Group ThreeLicense violations, WAC 314-29-030.
(d) Group FourNonretail violations involving the manufacture, supply, and/or distribution of liquor by nonretail licensees and prohibited practices between nonretail licensees and retail licensees, WAC 314-29-035.
(e) Group FivePublic safety violations for sports entertainment facility licenses, WAC 314-29-038.
(3) For the purposes of chapter 314-29 WAC, a two year window for violations is measured from the date one violation occurred to the date a subsequent violation occurred.
(4) The following schedules are meant to serve as guidelines. Based on mitigating or aggravating circumstances, the liquor and cannabis board may impose a different penalty than the standard penalties outlined in these schedules. Based on mitigating circumstances, the board may offer a monetary option in lieu of suspension during a settlement conference as outlined in WAC 314-29-010(3).
(a) Mitigating circumstances
(b) Aggravating circumstances
Mitigating circumstances that may result in fewer days of suspension and/or a lower monetary option may include demonstrated business policies and/or practices that reduce the risk of future violations.
Examples include:
• Having a signed acknowledgment of the business' alcohol policy on file for each employee;
• Having an employee training plan that includes annual training on liquor laws.
Aggravating circumstances that may result in increased days of suspension, and/or increased monetary option, and/or cancellation of a liquor license may include business operations or behaviors that create an increased risk for a violation and/or intentional commission of a violation.
Examples include:
• Failing to call 911 for local law enforcement or medical assistance when requested by a customer, a liquor and cannabis board officer, or when people have sustained injuries;
• Not checking to ensure employees are of legal age or have appropriate work permits.
(c) In addition to the examples in (a) and (b) of this subsection, the liquor and cannabis board will provide and maintain a list of business practices for reference as examples where business policies and/or practices may influence mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances. The established list will not be all inclusive for determining mitigating and/or aggravating circumstances, and may be modified by the liquor and cannabis board. The list shall be accessible to all stakeholders and the general public via the internet.
(5) Ancillary activity violations:
(a) When a violation or violations are part of ancillary activities, all ancillary activities including those at the manufacturing facility or associated locations involving the public will be subject to the schedules of penalties outlined in WAC 314-29-020 through 314-29-038. When violations are part of ancillary activities, the manufacturing license will not be suspended, revoked, or canceled.
(b) When a violation or violations are not part of ancillary activities, the manufacturing license is subject to the schedules of penalties outlined in WAC 314-29-020 through 314-29-038 and will extend to all retail activities, associated facilities, privileges, endorsements, and permits.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030 and chapter 66.24 RCW. WSR 18-21-115, § 314-29-015, filed 10/17/18, effective 11/17/18. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030. WSR 09-21-050, § 314-29-015, filed 10/14/09, effective 11/14/09. Statutory Authority: RCW 66.08.030, 66.24.010, 66.24.120. WSR 03-09-015, § 314-29-015, filed 4/4/03, effective 5/5/03.]
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