duke@nwalcohollaw.com 503.718.2310

OLCC Prohibitions and Violations

Yesterday, I talked about a recent rule change regarding allow law enforcement officers access to licensed premises. The change was to OAR 845-006-0345. This rule contains a number of other prohibitions that can result in serious violations. As such, it’s worth summarizing the prohibitions here even though there were no changes related to them.

  • Drinking on Duty. Licensees and service permittees are prohibited from drinking or being under the influence of intoxicants while on duty. ”On Duty” means an entire work shift, including breaks. It is possible for a licensee or permittee to put himself or herself on duty or back on duty under certain circumstances. For example, a staff member that finished their shift, clocked out, and is having a drink at the premises could put herself back on duty by taking actions on behalf of the licensee after having a drink, such as by helping out if business picked up or to address a particular problem situation. This could happen even if the employee did not clock back in and was not paid for their time.
  • Failing to call the police when an OLCC inspector directs the licensee or permittee to do so. This prohibition is clear, but important to remember. If an inspector asks a licensee to call the police, the licensee should do so even if there is disagreement about whether making such a call is appropriate or necessary. This is a category II violation.
  • Destroying or concealing evidence. This includes attempting to do so. This is a category III violation.
  • Allowing a patron to leave with an open container. This is a category V violation.
  • No drive-up windows. It’s true. If you want to buy your alcohol at a drive through window, you’ll need to head south to Texas. This is a category III violation.
  • Liquor as a prize. Licensees are prohibited from offering alcoholic beverages as prizes. Drinking games need to stay at home. This is a category V violation.
  • Allowing a visibly intoxicated person to drink an alcoholic beverage. Licensees and permittees are prohibited from allowing VIP’s to drink or continue to drink. A licensee or permittee who makes a good faith effort to remove the alcoholic beverage from a patron is not in violation of this prohibition. A good faith effort means to place a hand on the drink to try to remove it or to make a verbal request if the server has reason to believe that touching the drink could cause a disturbance.
  • Promotions that encourage excessive consumption. Licensees are prohibited from, among other things, offering unlimited drinks during any set period of time for a fixed price or offering discounts on alcoholic beverages after midnight. The most common violation of this prohibition is the “bottomless mimosa”. These are category III violations.


Disclaimer. This is for information purposes only and is not intended to and does not constitute legal advise. Please contact an attorney if you have any questions or concerns.