You’ve jumped through all the hoops and spent the necessary time and money needed to finally get your PA liquor license. Now, it’s your job to protect it so that your bar or restaurant can thrive.

If you’re wondering from what exactly you need to know protect your license, the answer may be your own ignorance of the rules that your establishment needs to follow. In fact, most bar and restaurant owners who run into trouble with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Enforcement as simple as not displaying your liquor license under glass, or more involved with not understanding Happy Hour rules and ending up with a violation.

Unfortunately, however, in the eyes of the PLCB, ignorance is not an excuse for disobeying the law. As the owner of your business, it is your duty to know, understand and follow the rules that come along with your liquor license.

To help you ensure the safety and longevity of not only your liquor license but of your entire business, we’ve provided a few key tips for familiarizing yourself with the laws that come along with selling alcohol in your establishment.

Educate Yourself

Before any of our customers close their deals, we here at Specialty Group arm them a complimentary booklet of over 200 pages filled with information that we have accumulated over the years. This is an informal collection of news clippings, RAMP information, editorials, unlawful acts, PLCB releases and bulletins. We believe that this kind of information should be mandatory reading for all first-timers, as well as experienced operators.

Liquor license regulations have been changing so fast during the last few years that it can be difficult to keep up if you’re not doing constant research. If you’re unsure about any of the regulations surrounding your license, find the nearest PA Liquor Board licensing and enforcement office, which are scattered throughout Pennsylvania. Their staff will be very willing to give you whatever materials related to PA liquor laws that you may need, as well as answer any questions that you have concerning their enforcement.

Of course, you don’t need to be an expert in the liquor code to stay out of trouble, but at the very least, every licensee should have and understand a current list of “unlawful acts” so that they have a fair chance of keeping themselves and their license out of trouble.

Stay Up-to-Date

If the first step of protecting your liquor license is educating yourself about the laws and regulations, the second step is to stay up-to-date on the latest changes to those laws. The best place to obtain this information is on the PLCB website under the advisory opinions. This is a large database full of up-to-date information. Looking for a faster answer? Call one of our licensing experts today!

Protect Yourself and Your Staff

The PLCB has an educational program called RAMP (Responsible Alcohol Management Program). Enroll your staff to do this program! For a low cost, and a few hour class, you can become RAMP certified which will protect you if a violation ever occurs. Now, this will not get you off the hook, but will lessen the penalty imposed against you. Click here for more information about RAMP.

The Bottom Line

Do your business a favor and don’t be one of the statistics printed in the Observer Violations pages. There is no sensible reason to pay more of your hard-earned money to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania due to ignorance of the law. After all, your license is your livelihood, so you need to protect it!

If you have further questions about obtaining a liquor license in Pennsylvania or what you can do to ensure that you’re following the regulations, contact us and an experienced member of our team would be more than happy to help you.