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NJ ABC Suspends Liquor License in Wildwood For COVID-19 Violations

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Office and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) announced the suspension of a Wildwood liquor license, operating as Shamrock Beef and Ale, Castaway’s Pirate Bar and Club Amnesia, for violations of Governor Murphy’s COVID-19 Executive Orders. The licensee entered into a Consent Order with the Division of ABC which requires the suspension of the establishment’s liquor license for 100 days. The Wildwood establishment will cease serving alcohol from May 1 through September 30, 2021.

Can the NJ ABC Suspend a Liquor License?

Yes. In this particular case, the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control filed a Notice of Charges based on allegations that the bar/restaurant establishment failed to comply with Governor Murphy’s executive orders relating the COVID-19. Specifically, the Wildwood Police Department and State ABC conducted two COVID-19 compliance inspections, once in November 2020 and once in March 2021. These investigations allegedly revealed multiple breaches of COVID-19 executive orders, including repeated violations of social distancing requirements and the then-10 p.m. curfew on indoor food and drink services. It should be noted that the liquor license establishment had just recently completed a separate 100-day license suspension imposed by the ABC for the bar’s COVID-19 violations prior to the March 2021 inspection.

What are the Executive Orders for ABC Violations in New Jersey?

Governor Murphy has issued countless Executive Orders since the start of the COVID-19 health emergency. Among some of the most commonly enforced order requirements are: limit services to take out only; cease all indoor service of food and alcohol at 10 p.m.; limit the number of patrons allowed in indoor areas; enforce face covering mandates for employee and patrons; prohibit the consumption of food and alcohol by patrons seated at a bar and/or not seated at a table; maintain a six-foot minimum distance between dining tables; limit the number of patrons at a table to eight; and enforce social distancing among employees and patrons. These requirements are constantly subject to change and we recommend you consult with an attorney about the current status of the requirements.

How Many NJ Liquor Licenses Have Been Charged with COVID Violations?

It has been roughly one year since the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent executive orders began. In that time, the New Jersey ABC has filed charges against approximately 264 establishments in response to COVID-19 violations. The resulting penalties in these cases have varied from warning letters, fines, license suspensions, and license revocations. For more information

Attorneys for New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Proetta, Oliver & Fay is a law firm with offices throughout New Jersey that handles all variety of matters involving liquor licenses and the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control. If you or your liquor license received a Notice of Charges from the State ABC, contact our office today at 732-858-5857 for an immediate consultation with an attorney. Firm partner, William Fay, Esq., has handled countless ABC matters during his career. Do not hesitate to call today.

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