Liquor Seizures

Under B.C. law, police officers may seize illicit liquor

  • From a licensed establishment; for example, if there is no record of the owner having purchased the liquor through the Liquor Distribution Branch (liquor inspectors may also seize liquor from licensed establishments).
     
  • From individuals
    • Who have open liquor in a public place
    • Who are selling liquor in a public place
    • Who are driving with an open liquor bottle in the vehicle (where it is readily accessible to the driver or to passengers)

If your Liquor was Seized

Liquor that has been seized will either be immediately destroyed or kept in storage for 30 days.  If you want to have your liquor returned or to be compensated for destroyed liquor, you have 30 days from the time your liquor was seized to apply in writing to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch. Your claim must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the General Manager that you were legally entitled to possess the liquor.

For commercially manufactured liquor, compensation is based on the lower of the retail price set under the Liquor Distribution Act, the replacement value if there is no set retail price, or the actual price paid for the liquor.  For liquor not manufactured commercially (UBrew and UVin), compensation is based on the lower of the retail price of ingredients used to manufacture the liquor or the actual price paid for those ingredients. A person wanting to apply for the return of seized liquor can do so by letter, by email or using the Application for the Return of Seized Liquor (LCLB125) (PDF, 633 KB).  

For more information about claiming seized liquor, Contact Us.