Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
What are the age requirements for employees who sell and serve alcohol?
MCL 436.1707 (6) of the Liquor Control Code states” A licensee shall not allow any person who is less than 18 years of age to sell or serve alcoholic liquor.”
What alcohol products must be bagged when they are sold?
There are no Michigan Laws or Administrative Rules regarding products being bagged. The habit of bagging most likely stems from sellers wanting to contain the glass shards if a bottle was dropped and broken. Check with the local police departments regarding possible local ordinances that require alcohol to be bagged.
What is the return policy on liquor products?
Administrative Rule 436.1531 states that an off-premises licensee may accept from a customer, for a cash refund or exchange, an alcoholic liquor product purchased by the customer from the off-premises licensee if the product is demonstrably spoiled or contaminated or the container damaged to the extent that the contents would likely be of an unsanitary nature or unfit for consumption and if the returned product is not resold and is removed from the licensed premises as soon as practicable, but not more than 14 days after its return. Otherwise, retailers cannot accept returns on alcohol for exchange or refund.
Must minors be out of my bar/restaurant by 9pm?
Not necessarily, MCL 750.141, Section 141 of the Michigan Penal code states that a minor child under 17 years of age shall not be permitted to remain in a dance hall, saloon, barroom or any place where spirituous or intoxicating liquor, wine or beer ...is sold unless accompanied by a parent or guardian. The section does not prevent the township, city or village from establishing more stringent regulations. Also, some establishments have made it their own policy to ask minors to leave in the late evening however it is not a rule of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. Check with your local police department regarding possible local ordinances that address this issue.
Does someone need, or can they get, a temporary liquor license for a private affair at a banquet hall?
The only type of temporary licenses available are for bona fide non-profit organizations such as Veterans of Foreign Wars, Knights of Columbus, etc.. Normally, if someone is having a function at a banquet hall such as a wedding reception and the host and/or guests are supplying the food and alcoholic beverages and there are no charges of any kind including any entry fee or donation, no type of liquor license is available or required. However, it is recommended that those who contemplate such an activity contact the local law enforcement agency or prosecutor's office for any additional information, since they have jurisdiction in such matters.
Do local law enforcement officers have the right to conduct a search of my establishment?
MCL 436.1217, Section 217 (2) of the Michigan Liquor Control Code states " A licensee shall make the licensed premises available for inspection and search by a commission investigator or law enforcement officer empowered to enforce the commission's rules and this act during regular business hours or when the licensed premises are occupied by the licensee or a clerk, servant, agent, or employee of the licensee. Evidence of a violation of this act or rules promulgated under this act discovered under this subsection may be seized and used in an administrative or court proceeding."
I thought gambling devices were prohibited in licensed establishments so how do the casinos operate and sell alcohol and why does the bar down the street offer Keno?
Rule 436.1013 prohibits unlawful gambling and gambling paraphernalia on MLCC licensed premises but legitimate gambling as licensed by the Michigan Bureau of State Lottery (1-800-592-4040) or via the Michigan Gaming Control Board (1-517-241-0040, Lansing or 1-313-456-4100, Detroit office) is acceptable.
Are patrons allowed to bring their own alcoholic beverages onto Licensed premises?
An on premise licensee may, in a manner as determined by that licensee, allow for the consumption of wine that is produced by a wine maker, a small wine maker, or an out-of-state entity that is the substantial equivalent of wine maker or small wine maker and that is brought into the licensed premises in its original sealed container by a consumer who is not prohibited under this act from possessing wine. The licensee shall not allow the consumer to remove a partially consumed bottle of wine brought by the consumer unless, the licensee or the licensee’s clerk, agent, or employee caps the bottle or reinserts the cork so that the top of the cork is level with the lip of the bottle. The licensee may charge a corkage fee for each bottle of wine brought by the consumer and opened on the premises by the licensee or the licensee’s clerk, agent, or employee.
What constitutes a valid identification when I make a sale of alcoholic liquor?
The law requires that someone making the sale of alcoholic beverages to a customer to make a "diligent inquiry" as to that persons age. MCL 436.1701, Section 701 (10) (b) of the Michigan Liquor Control Code states "Diligent inquiry means a diligent good faith effort to determine the age of the person, which includes at least an examination of an official Michigan operator's or chauffeur's license, an official Michigan personal identification card, a military identification card, or any other bona fide picture identification which establishes the identity and age of the person." It should be emphasized that the ultimate responsibility rests with the seller. If you are not convinced that the buyer is 21 or over, do not make the sale.
What do I do if a minor tries to purchase alcohol?
If you are not convinced that the buyer is 21 or over, do not make the sale. If the police is called, they may prosecute the person for attempting to buy alcohol when under the legal age.
Can a licensee give away alcoholic beverages in conjunction with a promotion?
MCL 436.2025, Section 1025 (1) of the Michigan Liquor Control Code states " A vendor shall not give away any alcoholic liquor of any kind or description at any time in connection with his or her business, except manufacturers for consumption on the premises only."
Can a gift basket store include alcoholic beverages in their merchandise?
Generally, such businesses are not eligible to obtain a take-out/off-premise license for the sale of alcohol since they do not meet the definition of an approved type of business under the Liquor Control Code and R436.1129(1) and R436.1135(1). Because of the potential liability in these situations, the Commission suggests adding a sparkling cider or other non-alcoholic beverage to the gift basket.
If a licensed establishment were to cease business operations, when would the license need to be escrowed and how long may it remain in escrow?
R436.1047 Rule 47 of the Administrative Rules states "A licensee who ceases active operation of the licensed business for a period of more than 30 days shall return all current licenses and permits to the commission." R436.1107 Rule 7 (2) states "A licensee shall have only 5 years after the expiration of the license to put the license into active operation. If the licensee fails to put the license into active operation within 5 years, then all rights to the license shall terminate unless the commission has received written verification of extenuating circumstances that fall within the outlines of Rule 1107. Escrowed licenses must be renewed each year in the same manner as an active license, including all license fees."
As a licensee, can I allow my friends to remain on the premises after the legal hour if no alcohol is served?
No. R436.1403 Rule 3 (2) of the Administrative Rules states " Between the hours of 2:30 am and 12 noon on Sunday, or from 2:30 am and 7 am on any other day, an on-premise licensee shall not allow the licensed premises to be occupied by anyone except the on-premise licensee, the bona fide employees of the on premise licensee who are working, or bona fide contractors and employees thereof who are working ..." There are certain circumstances where a licensee may be granted a specific purpose permit to remain open beyond the legal hour for such things as the sale of food. Also, if a licensee has obtained a Sunday Sales A.M. permit, the licensee can be open for business and sell alcohol between the hours of 7 a.m. and noon on Sundays.
Does an arrest record prevent someone from applying for a liquor license?
A prior arrest record is not an automatic bar to obtaining a license. When applying for a license an individual should truthfully disclose all prior arrest and conviction information on the application forms. The individual will also be asked to divulge this information to an investigator from the commission. Each application is reviewed on a case by case basis by the commission. The seriousness of the offenses committed, ones that involve the misuse of alcohol and the total record of the applicant are some of the things that the commission will take under consideration when making a determination as to suitability for licensure.
Do you have to get prior written approval from the Liquor Control Commission to bring alcoholic liquor into Michigan for your own personal consumption?
Pursuant to MCL 436.1203, state liquor laws require persons who wish to bring any type of alcoholic beverage into Michigan for personal consumption to obtain prior written approval of the Commission with the following exceptions:
How old do you need to be to own a liquor license?
Pursuant to R 436.1105 Rule 5 (1) An individual, a partners in a partnership, a stockholder in a corporation and members of an LLC, would have to be the legal age for the consumption of alcoholic liquor in this state which is 21 years old.
If I am the holder of a catering permit, does all alcoholic liquor have to be preordered by the recipient prior to the private event and what happens to the preordered alcoholic beverage that has not all been consumed at the private event?
Yes, Pursuant to R 436.1011 (7) (b), An off-premise licensee may deliver a preordered quantity of alcoholic liquor to a customer; however, the licensee shall not make a delivery to a customer on the campus of a 2 or 4 year college or university, unless the customer is licensed by the Commission and R 436.1527, delivery of liquor to person under 21 years of age is prohibited.
The preordered alcoholic beverage that has not been consumed belongs to the recipient who paid for it.
The licensee may not take back any of the alcoholic beverages pursuant to 436.1901 Sec. 901 (6).
Who can obtain a banquet facility permit?
Pursuant to 436.1522 Sec. 522 (1); The Commission may issue 1 banquet facility permit to an on premise licensee, as an extension of that on-premise license, for the serving of alcoholic liquor only on the permitted premises. The banquet facility shall be used only for scheduled functions and events shall not have regular meal service and shall not be open to the public. The applicant shall provide documentation that demonstrates a pre-existing ownership or lease interest in the banquet facility.
As a retailer, can I sell and refill growlers?
Growlers can only be sold by brewers, microbrewers, brewpubs and on premise licensees who also have a take-out beer and wine license (SDM). Growlers are regulated by MCL 436.1901(3); A licensee shall not sell, offer or keep for sale, furnish, possess, or allow a customer to consume alcoholic liquor that is not authorized by the license issued to the licensee by the Commission and by MCL 436.1537 (10) and (11).