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Narcotic Activity on a Licensed Premise

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Narcotic Activity on a New Jersey Liquor Licensed Premise

N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.5(b) Narcotic Activity and Narcotic Paraphernalia

Under 13:2-23.5(b), no licensee shall allow, permit or suffer in or upon the licensed premises any unlawful possession of or any unlawful activity pertaining to:

  1. Narcotic drugs;
  2. Controlled dangerous substances as defined by the New Jersey Controlled Dangerous Substances Act (N.J.S.A. 24:21-1 et seq.);
  3. Controlled Dangerous Substance analogs as defined by the Comprehensive Drug Reform Act of 1987 (N.J.S.A. 2C:35-1 et seq.);
  4. Any prescription legend drug, in any form, which is not a narcotic drug or controlled dangerous substance or analog, as so defined; or
  5. Drug paraphernalia as defined by N.J.S.A. 2C:36-1.

Licensees are Strictly Liable for Their Employees Conduct

Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:2-23.28, the fact that licensee did not participate in the violation or that his agent, servant, or employee acted contrary to instructions given by him by the licensee’s presence shall constitute no defense to the charges. In Div. of Alcoholic Beverage Control v. Red Klotz Enterprises, Inc., it was held that a license could be suspended due to an employees sale of marijuana on or about the licensed premises. The Final Order further elaborated by saying that “the licensee must bear the responsibility for employee’s actions.” This means that a licensee may be subject to a suspension of his or her license based on actions conducted by a third-party. This is contrary to almost every other form of law in New Jersey, as individual culpability is typically required.

License Suspension Penalty for Violation

The penalties for Narcotic Activity on a Licensed Premise depends upon the specific conduct as well as licensees prior violation history. Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:2-19.11, the penalties are as follows:

Narcotic Activity on the Licensed Premises (NARC1)

  • First Offense results in a 45-day suspension of your license
  • Second Offense results in a 90-day suspension of your license
  • Third Offense results in revocation of your license

Narcotic Paraphernalia on the Licensed Premises (NARC2)

  • First Offense results in a 45-day suspension of your license
  • Second Offense results in a 90-day suspension of your license
  • Third Offense results in revocation of your license

Narcotic Activity on the Licensed Premises involving an employee (NARC3)

  • First Offense results in a 90-day suspension of your license
  • Second Offense results in revocation of your license

Narcotic Activity on the Licensed Premises involving a licensee (NARC4)

  • First Offense results in revocation of your license

NJ ABC Liquor License Attorneys

These penalties will likely be enhanced based on other violations included in the Notice of Charges, including, but not limited to, Illegal Activity, Brawl, Disqualified Employee, Hindering, Lewds or some other ABC violation. These charges require the experience and knowledge of an experienced ABC law attorney.

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