OLCC Priority Violations

OLCC Priority Violations.  There are 1000’s of licensed businesses in Oregon.  This can be great for Oregonians, but can present a real challenge to the OLCC in terms of monitoring them for compliance.  The OLCC must decide each day how to allocate its enforcement officers and focus its efforts across the state.  In order to maximize the effectiveness and coverage of their enforcement efforts, the OLCC focuses on a subset of licensed businesses and a subset of violations.

Licensees can benefit by understanding how the OLCC prioritizes their efforts.

That doesn’t mean that the OLCC is simply turning a blind eye to other businesses or violations.  For example, the OLCC’s minor decoy program involves visits to randomly selected businesses across the state.  In addition, even if a violation is not a “priority violation,” the OLCC may still take action if the violation is discovered.

The OLCC typically focuses on businesses with documented compliance problems.  The compliance problems may be documented from calls for service from local law enforcement, citizen complaints, or prior warnings or violations from the OLCC.  The take-away for licensees is that they should operate their business in a manner that minimizes calls for service and citizen complaints.  And, maybe even more importantly, licensees should take note if their business starts getting visits from local law enforcement or starts to receive citizen complaints.  These may be early warning signs of problems and provide a licensee with an opportunity to take corrective action BEFORE the issues develop into problems with the OLCC.

The OLCC also has identified what it considers priority violations and include the following:

Category I Violations

• Failure to maintain liquor liability insurance or bond (see Section 200L)
• Licensee convicted of a felony
• History of serious & persistent problems (HSPP)
• Restriction violation
• Unauthorized interest in a business (involves an unlicensable person)
• Operating while suspended

Category II/II(a) Violations

• Interfered with investigation
• Material false statement
• Under the influence of intoxicants on duty
• Failed to call police at Inspector’s request
• Denied Inspector/police officer access to premises (during business hours)
• Failed to promptly admit Inspector/officer (when premises is or appears closed)
• Unlawful drug activity on the licensed premises (II(a))

Category III/III(a) Violations

• Failed to verify the age of a minor
• Permitted minor to consume alcohol
• Sale to VIP
• Allowing VIP to consume alcohol
• Permitting disorderly activity
• Permitting unlawful activity

Licensees should understand the nature of these violations and be vigilant to ensure that they do not occur at their business.  Well drafted house policies, ongoing training efforts and trustworthy management and staff are essential to operating a profitable and compliant licensed business in Oregon.