Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
December 8, 2020 - The Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) has issued emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits for The Office Bar in Port Huron. The Licensee’s multiple violations of the current Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Emergency Order include: allowing non-residential, in-person gatherings; providing in-person dining; failure to require face coverings for staff and patrons; and failure to prohibit patrons from congregating.
On December 7, 2020, MLCC Commissioners ordered emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits held by:
The above-named licensee is scheduled to appear before an Administrative Law Judge on December 14, 2020, for a virtual hearing via Zoom, to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed.
Licensees are strictly prohibited from allowing indoor gatherings, as defined by the MDHHS Gatherings and Face Mask Order, on their licensed premises. Further, these prohibited gatherings held without requiring patrons to wear face masks pose an immediate threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Allowing this activity to continue could create additional outbreaks of COVID-19.
Any licensed establishment that is in violation of the MDHHS emergency order will be held strictly accountable and risk suspension or revocation of its license. All licensees must not only comply with the MDHHS Orders, but also local health department orders, and local ordinances regarding reduced occupancy rates and social distancing protocols related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The MLCC Enforcement Division, is working diligently to ensure that licensees are compliant with the MDHHS orders. It investigates all complaints relative to allegations of violations of the Code, Rules and Executive Orders, especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. Since September 2020, the MLCC has suspended liquor licenses of an additional 10 establishments located throughout the state for violations of the emergency and executive orders due to the pandemic.
The public can report any suspected non-compliance issue at an establishment directly to the MLCC by filing a complaint with the MLCC Enforcement Division online or by calling the division’s hotline, toll-free, at 866-893-2121. MLCC’s website provides information on the MDHHS Emergency Order, indoor service restrictions, face mask requirements and Frequently Asked Questions for restaurants and bars.
To date, there have been more than 404,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, resulting in more than 9,900 deaths. Michigan’s COVID-19 daily death average has quadrupled in the last five weeks. Hospitalizations are continuing to rise. The MDHHS Order which became effective November 15, 2020, states that the recent “sharp rise in new [COVID-19] infections suggests that the state is entering the most challenging phase of the pandemic thus far” and that “the COVID-19 pandemic continues to constitute an epidemic in Michigan.”
It is the mission of the MLCC to make alcoholic beverages available for consumption while protecting the consumer and the general public through the regulation of those involved in the importation, sale, consumption, distribution, and delivery of these alcohol products.