Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
What are my options if I receive a liquor violation?
If you do not wish to contest the charges and do not need to personally speak with a Commissioner or Administrative Law Judge, you may acknowledge responsibility by having the licensee or corporate officer sign the back of the Complaint form. When returning the form to the Commission offices in Lansing, please include a narrative of any mitigating circumstances you wish to have considered by the Commission. Please note that you waive your right to a hearing when acknowledging a violation.
If you wish to contest the charge, simply do not sign the Complaint form, and you will automatically be notified of the date, time and location of your hearing.
Do I need an attorney at my violation hearing?
Nothing requires you to retain an attorney; however, you have the right to retain legal counsel should you choose to do so.
When will I receive the results of my violation hearing?
An acknowledged violation generally requires 2 - 3 weeks to receive a penalty assignment from the Commission. Violation hearings require more time, and a Commissioner or Administrative Law Judge has up to 45 days from the hearing date to issue their Order. If you have not received an Order after 45 days from the date of your hearing, please contact the Hearings and Appeals Section at 517-284-6270. Please have your violation complaint number available when calling the office.
How much is the fine for a sale to a minor violation?
The penalty for selling alcoholic beverages to a person under the age of 21 may be a fine, suspension of the liquor license, revocation of the liquor license or any combination of these penalties. It is up to the Hearing Commissioner or Administrative Law Judge to determine the penalty if you are found responsible for this violation. The Hearing Commissioner or Administrative Law Judge assessing the penalty considers the length of licensure, past violation history, age of the underage patron and other mitigating circumstances when issuing their order. Based on a licensee's history, the Commission may choose to assess a fine of up to $1,000 and/or suspend or revoke a license. Please note, the Commission does practice progressive discipline.
In those cases where a licensee has been found liable for selling alcoholic beverages to an underage person on three separate occasions over a two year period, state law requires the Commission to hold a hearing and order either a suspension or revocation of the license .
How much are fines for other types of violations?
You can receive a fine of up to $1000 for sale to a visibly intoxicated person or for selling alcoholic liquor to an individual under the age of 21. Most other violations can receive a fine of up to $300. Again, your Hearing Commissioner or Administrative Law Judge will consider the period of licensure, past violation history, the nature and severity of the offense and other mitigating circumstances when drafting their order. The penalty for any violation may also also include license suspension or revocation and progressive disciplinary factors.
What will happen if I do not show up at my violation hearing?
If a licensee fails to appear at a scheduled violation hearing, the Commissioner or Administrative Law Judge has several options:
In connection with (2), if a licensee desires to cross-examine the commission witnesses who have already testified, the commission witnesses shall be produced by, and at the expense of, the licensee.
If my license is suspended because of a violation, must I close my business down?
No, you do not have to close your business; however, you may not sell any alcohol product for the period of the suspension.
What can I do if I am denied a license by the Commission?
If the Commission denies a license application, the applicant may request an Appeal Hearing. An Appeal request must be made to the Commission's Lansing office within 20 days of the date of the denial decision mailing.
How can I get an MLCC Rule book?
You may access a digital copy of the Michigan Liquor Control Code, Administrative Rules, and Related Laws online on the MLCC website. You may also request a copy by mail by sending a $15.00 check made payable to the State of Michigan to the Liquor Commission, P.O. Box 30005, Lansing, MI 48909.
Who can I contact about server training?
You should contact the individual MLCC approved server training programs. For a list of the MLCC approved server training programs and contact information, click here.
Who do I contact to report a store or restaurant I think is violating the law?
Contact the Enforcement Division in Lansing at 517-284-6290 or toll free at 866-813-0011. You may also report a violation through the Michigan Liquor Control Commission website or contact any of the other three district offices in Southfield, Grand Rapids, and Escanaba listed on the MLCC website.
Why do I have a violation for an NSF check if I have already paid the bad check?
Regardless of payment after the violation, writing an NSF check to the State of Michigan violates the administrative rules of the Commission, and subjects a licensee to completing the violation process.