The Law Offices of  Barton Morris

Avoiding Violations

Liquor license holders should do their best to protect their licenses. It is important to comply with liquor codes and city ordinances, especially as it relates to your licensed business. However, experiencing liquor violations is a common issue that many businesses incur. These violations come from the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and the appropriate municipality, and can seriously affect business in a negative way.

Common violations a business may experience include serving alcoholic beverages to a minor, operating without the applicable permits, disobeying open container laws, and treasury violations, among others. It is important to understand these applicable Michigan liquor codes and city ordinances, due to the influence they have on your business. It can be necessary to be compliant with the liquor control commission and the city where the business is located. License holders should take active measures to protect their interests especially when it comes to their liquor licenses.

How Municipalities Influence Liquor Licenses

Cities may recommend denial of renewing a business’s liquor license. Just recently, the City of Birmingham reviewed many businesses that were up for liquor license renewals. However, the city has set hearings to contemplate whether the City Commission should file objections with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission due to violations of Chapter 10, Alcoholic Liquors of the City Code. Cities can play a significant role, as it relates to businesses and their liquor licenses. It is important to stay compliant with all city codes. A lack of compliance with city codes can be harmful to businesses. Cities are aware of when these violations take place, and they can make recommendations to object to such liquor license renewals, as depicted with the City of Birmingham.

Violations may cause issues with the liquor control commission, which can be threatening to a liquor license holder. This may cause the revocation of a liquor license.City ordinances can be important to individuals because they are set to protect the well-being of the city and individuals. Cities can have a major influence on businesses because they may pose their concerns with the state liquor control commission. Violating city codes can be damaging to your business. This may cause problems with the liquor control commission, as they become aware of the lack of compliance. Being a liquor license holder has many responsibilities and it is important to follow applicable liquor codes and city ordinances, in order to protect individuals and communities.

The city’s recommendation or objection in renewing a liquor license can be a crucial aspect of the city’s influence on licensed establishments. Often cities conduct an annual review of the licensed establishments to ensure compliance. Such compliance can be reviewed by assessing whether the licensee has complied with all the rules and regulations. City commissioners may set public hearings to assess whether there should be objections for renewal, based on city code violations. The city may look to see if additional measures have been completed, to remediate these violations by the licensed establishments.

Municipalities Influence: Renewing Liquor Licenses

Cities many implement specific policies they follow when assessing renewal of a liquor license. Specifically, the City of Birmingham includes the procedure of objections to renewals or requesting revocation of a liquor license. If the city decides to do a hearing, this may include why the commission is taking such measures and reasons for deciding objections. Further, the city may decide to file an objection with the liquor control commission, based on their findings. The city can play a key role in licensed businesses. These public hearings can be important for assessing any issues a license holder has experienced. It is important to be aware of the city’s involvement, as it relates to your liquor license.

Additionally, businesses need to address violations in order to retain their liquor license. Specifically, it is important for business owners to be aware of any and all violations they may receive. It is important to follow the municipalities guidelines and codes, along with the liquor codes. Noncompliance could result in revocation of your liquor license.  Business owners may turn to legal counsel for guidance because of their liquor violations. Having legal assistance can be a beneficial way of assessing the city’s objections for renewing liquor licenses. The municipalities influence relates strongly to the ability of the licenses renewal.

As indicated, the city may consider the licensed establishments every year and whether they fit for renewals of their license. This is an important process, as they consider any objections due to violations of city codes. The city may look to a variety of issues, including planning violations, zoning violations, selling to minors, operating without permits, open container laws, among other violations. All of these violations may be relevant when deciding whether an objection is viable to renewing their license. Revocation of the liquor license may have a negative effect on businesses, which may result in financial issues for the establishment. It is important to take all the steps necessary, to avoid liquor license revocation.

Municipalities Influence: Remain Compliant

Being complaint with state and local laws can be an important aspect for protecting your liquor license. It can be helpful to understand city’s codes, as it relates to regulations surrounding liquor licenses. Specifically, city codes will include the prohibited behavior for license holders, including sale or serving alcoholic beverages to minors, after hours sales and consumption, and any use of controlled substances on the property.

If license holders are unaware of these liquor violations and city codes, they can negatively effect their establishment. It is wise to incorporate the city’s codes in employee handbooks and training programs to make managers, and employees aware of prohibited behavior holding them accountable to their behavior. This can be a useful way of protecting your license and staying complaint with state and local laws. Taking active preventative measures can assist with getting your license renewed each year and being complaint with these city codes. To learn more about preventative measures a licensee can take review our blog article: Preventive Measures To Avoid Liquor Violations.


License holders need to be aware of common violations and their municipalities influence on ordinances, due to the harmful effects it may have on their liquor licenses. City ordinances are an important aspect of your licensed establishment. Cities play a role in recommending renewals for liquor licenses to the state and base their recommendation on the data they assessed. However, cities can also make objections for denying a renewal, due to violations a licensee has experienced. These objections can be made with the liquor control commission. It is important to protect your liquor license and comply with all applicable liquor codes and city codes. It can be beneficial to have such employee handbooks and training programs for employees, to have an understanding of these codes. If a license holder has questions or concerns surrounding their liquor license, it is recommended they seek legal advice.

Schedule a Consultation with the Law Offices of Barton Morris for your licensed hospitality business. Our professional and dedicated attorneys have mitigated liquor license violations with the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and multiple local municipalities. Hiring an attorney during the renewal period for your liquor license would be an advantageous way to stay ahead of competitors. The renewal deadline to the MLCC for 2023 has been set for April 30th, credit card payments will be accepted.