Restaurant Law Blog

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Liquor License Violations in New York City best handled by Experienced Restaurant Attorney

Liquor license violations in New York City can put a restaurant, bar or nightclub out of business. There are also frequently challenges with Obtaining a Liquor License or Transferring a Liquor License.

A New York City liquor license lawyer can self-certify an application, which can dramatically speed up the process. Frequently, an attorney can obtain a decision on your liquor license within three weeks. Without attorney certification, the process may take several months or longer.

Consulting a Manhattan restaurant lawyer is critical whenever a pub or restaurant is facing a violation. Failure to properly contest a violation can lead to serious problems, including the forced closure of your business.

The Mid Hudson News recently reported that Congress bar in Poughkeepsie was closing its door after having its liquor license suspended by the New York State Liquor Authority. After police complaints of drunken, disorderly and violent patrons, the three-member board of commissioners agreed the business posed a public safety threat that warranted immediate closure. The business owner said he was stunned by the swift action. He intends to put the business up for sale, hopefully as a restaurant. But the reality is it will be worth far less than it would had it maintained a valid liquor license.

The ability to serve alcohol is so critical to a business' survival -- indeed, to its very identity -- that the New York Times dining section specifically mentions if a restaurant lacks a liquor license in Manhattan or the five boroughs, as it did recently with the restaurant Alfama and the Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare.

Too often, business owners fail to challenge a liquor law violation in New York -- believing the best option is to show contrition, settle the citation, and move forward. However, a history of violations is the leading cause of liquor license revocations and business closures. Consulting an experienced restaurant lawyer in New York City is the best bet to protect your business.

Common violations issued by the New York State Liquor Authority include:

-Sale of Alcohol to a minor

-Sale of Alcohol to an intoxicated person

-Maintaining a disorderly premise

-Sale of Alcohol during prohibited hours

-Gambling

-Illegal employment of a minor

Those faced with a violation can enter a no contest plea (which essentially admits the charges), enter a conditional plea (which permits you to negotiate for a limited penalty or withdraw the plea) or enter a not guilty plea. Those who enter a not guilty plea will have a hearing before an Administrative Law judge. Those who are found guilty at the hearing will face any number of sanctions, up to and including the revocation of a liquor license.

James DiPasquale, Esq.

DIPASQUALE LAW GROUP

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