• Compliance Check! What Bars, Clubs and Restaurants Need to Do to Be Compliant With Regulations
  • March 29, 2018 | Author: Richard B. Easterling
  • Law Firm: Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
  • The Louisiana Office of Alcohol and Tobacco Control and various state and local law enforcement agencies are conducting more compliance checks to make sure that all venues that have an alcohol and/or tobacco permit are abiding by all laws and regulations that pertain to them.

    To stay in compliance and to prevent any suspension or fines, you should at a minimum implement the following:

    1. Do background checks on all employees prior to hiring to confirm they do not have any prior arrest for alcohol or drug related activities.
    2. Have regularly mandatory employee meetings that cover the laws related to alcohol sales and all acts prohibited under the alcohol laws. Make it clear to your employees that you have a zero tolerance policy, and they will be terminated for any violations of laws related to alcohol sales and all acts prohibited under the alcohol laws. Make sure you keep a record of all employees that attend the meetings.
    3. Have a high quality camera system that covers all areas of the premise (excluding restrooms) that can be monitored and recorded. Terminate any employee observed doing any activity prohibited by law or regulation.
    4. Have security personnel that, in addition to watching the customers, monitor the employees for any possible violations.
    5. Use a “mystery shopper” to check the employees to make sure they are complying with all laws and regulations pertaining to selling and serving alcohol. Retrain or terminate any employee that fails the test.

    In the event your business checked and you are cited for any violations, you should do the following:

    1. If you have security cameras, make sure the recording of the period prior to and including the compliance check is preserved.
    2. Have all employees on duty at the time of the compliance check provide you with written and signed statements of what they observed.
    3. Suspend any employee receiving a violation and immediately terminate any employee found guilty of the alleged violation. Make sure all employees know the reason for the termination.
    4. Retrain all employees, stressing the necessity of being in compliance.
    5. Implement additional procedures that will aid in compliance.

    Richard serves as the Chair of Taylor Porter's Alcohol Beverage Licensing and Related Enforcement Issues practice. He was ranked "Administrative/Regulatory Law Lawyer of the Year" in Baton Rouge by Best Lawyers in America® 2016, and he is also ranked by his peers in Louisiana Super Lawyers and Chambers USA in Administrative Law.

    The regulatory work of Taylor Porter attorneys in Alcoholic Beverage Licensing and Related Enforcement Issues encompasses all phases of alcohol beverage licensing and enforcement, working with our clients through the heavily regulated industry that can present multiple and at times, complex, local, state, and federal compliance issues. Our attorneys have developed a deep understanding of state and local statutes, rules, and regulations pertaining to alcohol beverage licensing and compliance. They assist clients in applying and maintaining alcohol and tobacco licenses as well as renewing and handling changes that affect their licenses. Should compliance issues arise, our attorneys also have experience in handling the defense of licensees.