NJ ABC Attorney
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Act vests a great deal of authority in each municipality regarding the administration, issuance and regulation of liquor licenses. The Division of ABC will defer to each respective municipality when it comes to the enactment of local ordinances. One of the most common ordinances that affect licensees is that of “hours of operation.” While ABC law allows retail distribution licenses to sell alcoholic beverages between the hours operations of 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM, local ordinances often restrict these sales even further. That means that you, as a licensee, may be subject to restrictive hours of operation or other forms of regulation. If you wish to obtain and operate a liquor license in a New Jersey municipality, you must be cognizant of your municipality’s local ordinances. Furthermore, if you violate a local ordinance, you will be subject to civil charges in the form of a Notice of Charges and a possible suspension of your license.
Call (732) 858-5857 today and speak with the liquor license attorneys at Proetta & Oliver.
ABC Ordinance Restrictions
The ABC Board or governing body of each New Jersey Municipality may, by ordinance, enact restrictions beyond those enumerated by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act. Specifically, municipalities may limit the number of licenses to sell alcoholic beverages at retail to fewer than the population caps of 3,000 and 7,500. The municipality may also, limit the hours of sale, prohibit sale of alcohol on Sundays, or prohibit alcoholic beverage sales entirely (“dry towns”). Municipalities may, subject to the approval of the Director of ABC, regulate the general conduct of any business licensed to sell alcoholic beverages at retail. Also, the municipality may further restrict the “two license limitation” to one per person in their respective town.
Generally, all ordinances specific to the regulation of liquor licenses will be subject to review by the Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control. In reviewing ordinances, the Director must make a determination only on whether the provisions set forth are cognizable and derivable from the concepts articulated in the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act (Title 33). Although an ordinance may be valid as an exercise of some other municipal power related to the health, safety, and welfare of the municipality, some ordinances may not be approved by the Director. Violations of an ordinance will not allow suspension, revocation, or non-renewal of the license if the ordinance provisions are not authorized by the Alcoholic Beverage Control Act.
Penalty for Violating a ABC Ordinance
Pursuant to N.J.A.C. 13:2-19.11, the violation of any ordinance, resolution or regulation of an issuing authority or governing body will result in the following penalties:
- First Offense carries a 10-day suspension of your liquor license
- Second Offense carries a 20-day suspension of your liquor license
- Third Offense carries a 30-day suspension of your liquor license