Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
March 25, 2008 -Chairperson Nida R. Samona and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) submitted their Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2006-2007 to Governor Jennifer M. Granholm and the Michigan Legislature.
Chairperson Samona said she was proud of MLCC staff and management team for implementing procedures for Redevelopment and Development District licenses (created by Public Acts 501 and 502).
"The new licenses allow municipalities to attract businesses into designated districts to promote economic growth in the state and further promote Governor Granholm's Cool Cities Initiative," Samona said. "This is really good news for workers in terms of job creation and for communities wanting to build up or revitalize an area." Other highlights of the FY 2006-2007 annual report include the following:
Commission enforcement teams conducted 1,729 controlled buy operations and wrote 282 violations for selling to minors. This type of violation remains the most commonly cited infraction of the Michigan Liquor Code.
"We need to work closely with licensees to arm them with all the tools and education they need to fully understand and comply with State laws and rules, while maintaining a healthy, viable business that continues to bring economic growth," Samona said.
One approach the Commission sees as effective is to order or make available to licensees and their employees a State approved alcohol training program such as:
"It is important to the Commission that every server and seller has access to responsible service training to educate licensees on common pitfalls and useful approaches for dealing with potential violations," Samona added. "Enhanced education can only help a business become more successful and violation free. There are no negatives or downsides to going to a class that teaches you what the newest popular culture trends are in the ways that kids are trying to consume or purchase alcohol."
Another safety tool the Commission recommends is an age verification device that uses technology to detect valid identifications and unaltered drivers licenses. The machines come in many forms depending on the vendor -- some attach directly to the cash register and some are built into the register itself. All systems require the clerk to physically take the ID, review the photo for similarity to the person presenting it, etc., and then scan or swipe the ID through a slot similar to card reader systems at gas pumps. The system reads the person's age and verifies whether or not the person is of age to buy alcohol (21) and most machines read for cigarette age requirements (18) as well.
Samona said, "Many clerks tell us they looked at the ID and counted years to meet the cigarette requirement (18) instead of the higher alcohol age - it is an easy mistake to make but the electronic system resolves that conflict."
Please visit the MLCC website to read the complete annual report and review a collection of informative materials at www.michigan.gov/lcc.