Liquor License Manager Risk & Responsibilities


Liquor license manager risk and responsibilities vary from state to state. It is the manager’s responsibility to ensure that the rules and regulations are strictly followed by the employees of the business. You risk suspension, the revoking of the license and even the loss of your business altogether for not following the laws governing the liquor license.


One of the risks of operating under a liquor license is over-serving a customer. If a customer is served liquor to the extent of intoxication, you can be held legally liable if he drives and get into an accident. You may not only lose your liquor license, you can be sued. It is the manager’s responsibility to train the staff in the limits of serving alcoholic beverages and to oversee this.

Legal Age

The legal drinking age needs to be strictly enforced. Staff must be trained to check ID cards. A liquor license can be suspended if your establishment serves or sells to underage patrons. It can also be permanently taken away if too many of these offenses occur. The manager needs to make sure the staff complies with this responsibility through trainings and keeping a watchful eye.

Hours of Operation

There are hours-of-operation limits for both the serving and selling of alcohol. The time varies from state to state. These laws need to be enforced in accordance with your type of liquor license, such as a store, restaurant or bar. The police department in the area is usually the agency that enforces this rule. This law sets a definite closing time, with no room for stretching it a few minutes either way. You risk the suspension of your liquor license if you do not follow this regulation.

Food Vs. Liquor Ratio

In some states, such as Connecticut, you must sell food along with liquor in an establishment. Many states have laws that require you to sell a certain percentage of food along with a certain percentage of alcohol in order to keep your liquor license. This is strictly enforced with visits by representatives of the liquor commission to check on your invoices and sales. If you are not adhering to this law, your liquor license can be suspended. As a manager, it is your responsibility to do the food-liquor statistics and make sure they are beng followed.


It is also the responsibility of the manager to have the invoices in order and inhouse when the state liquor commission representative comes for an unannounced inspection. You risk a suspension of your license if you cannot prove where the liquor has come from and show how much of it has been sold with proper record-keeping. Many states have strict laws that allow the purchase of alcohol from state licensed distributors only. You cannot bring liquor in for sales from any other source. Your license is suspended if this occurs.

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