Enforcement by the Numbers

Between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2013 the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch conducted 48,625 inspections of licensed premises and special events throughout British Columbia.

As a result of those inspections 1,897 Contravention Notices were issued of which 730 resulted in Notices of Enforcement Action.

The majority of enforcement actions were taken against liquor and food primary licensees, followed by licensee retail stores. However it would be a mistake to think that the Branch overlooks producers and specialty stores when it comes to conducting inspections and pursuing enforcement action. Five manufacturers, five Ubrew/UVins and one wine store were also the subject of enforcement action during this period.

The top 10 contraventions pursued by the Branch during this period were as follows:

  1. Sell, give or otherwise supply liquor to a minor (270)
  2. Permit intoxicated person to remain (124)
  3. Permit minor to enter or be on premises (47)
  4. Overcrowding beyond patron capacity less than or equal to occupant load [s. 6(4) Reg](42)
  5. Contravene term & condition (38)
  6. Serve or give liquor to intoxicated person (33)
  7. Operating contrary to primary purpose – food primary (26)
  8. Permit prohibited acts by stripper/exotic dancer (12)
  9. Overcrowding beyond patron capacity less than or equal to occupant load [s. 12 Act; s. 71(2)(b) Reg] (12)
  10. Permit unlawful activities of conduct (10)

As a licensee it is important to be aware of what contraventions the Branch is targeting with enforcement action while simultaneously considering where your establishment’s compliance with the Act is less than perfect.

The service of minors, and the over service of patrons, continue to be the leading causes of enforcement action against licensees. Are your staff doing everything they can to ensure your establishment doesn’t receive a Contravention Notice?

*Alcohol & Advocacy publishes articles for information purposes only. They are not a substitute for legal advice, and persons requiring such advice should consult legal counsel.

Dan Coles
Retired bartender. Young lawyer. From the East, living in the West. Interested in British Columbia's producers and purveyors of wine, beer and spirits.

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