Enforcement process

The steps outlined in the enforcement process ensure liquor and non-medical cannabis licensees and permittees are following the requirements established in the liquor acts, regulations, and terms and conditions and cannabis acts, regulations, and terms and conditions.
The enforcement process follows a specific order. Serious or repeated contraventions might mean the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation (LCRB) has to take enforcement action.
 
Compliance and enforcement inspectors check for compliance by
  • Inspecting licensed establishments
  • Investigating complaints

On this page:


Inspections

LCRB inspectors regularly inspect licensed establishments to make sure you are following the liquor or non-medical cannabis laws relevant to your licence type and the terms and conditions of the licence.

These inspections may be done with or without advance notice.

Generally, inspections focus on issues, such as

  • Intoxication
  • Sale to minors
  • Overcrowding
  • Sale or purchase of unlawful liquor
  • Sale, possession, or supply of unlawful non-medical cannabis
  • Community disturbances associated with the operation of a licensed establishment

Inspectors also do inspections to review records and documents, such as your

  • Liquor or non-medical cannabis licence
  • Floor plan
  • Serving It Right or Selling It Right certification for staff
  • Liquor or cannabis register

Local police officers may also make regular, unannounced visits to licensed establishments. Generally, they look for anything that may lead to a disturbance within the community or could threaten public safety, such as

  • Noise
  • Overcrowding
  • Drunkenness
  • Minors in possession of liquor or non-medical cannabis

If a police officer finds you are not complying with the law,

  • They will record the contravention on a Licensed Premises Check (LPC) form and give you a copy, and
  • Send this form to the LCRB for follow up.

After an inspection (or in follow-up to an LPC from Police), if the inspector believes that you or your staff are not complying with the Acts, regulations or the terms and conditions of the licence,

  • The inspector will send you an electronic Notification of Inspection result.

The notice includes information about the alleged contravention(s) and possible actions to address it.

The inspector will then review the evidence and circumstances of the alleged contravention in addition to the LCRB’s file for the establishment.

Enforcement action

Inspectors attempt to resolve issues through education and compliance before issuing a notice of enforcement action depending on their assessment of the issues that arise from an inspection or complaint.

  • For example, if you have committed similar contraventions in the past, or there is a threat to public safety, a notice of enforcement action is more likely to be issued.

If the inspector decides they don't need to issue a notice of enforcement action

  • The inspector holds a compliance meeting
    • The meeting is for you, your staff and the inspector to discuss the situation and agree on a solution

If the inspector decides they do need to issue a notice of enforcement action

  • A Notice of Enforcement Action goes out to you, by email or regular mail
  • The notice includes
    • Details of the contravention
    • Implications
    • Your options

Notice of Enforcement Action (NOEA)

Examples of enforcement actions include:

  • Suspension
  • Monetary penalty
  • Licence or permit cancellation

The general manager can also recommend extra terms and conditions such as

  • Shorter hours
  • Removal of existing privileges

Enforcement action options

In some cases, you are given a choice between paying a fine or having a licence suspension issued.

You can choose between a fine or licence suspension if:

The NOEA will also include the provision for a licensee to waive the opportunity for a hearing through a waiver notice. Waiver notices must be signed by the licensee or shareholder and a witness.

Signing a waiver notice

If you choose to sign the waiver, you

  • Agree you committed the contravention
  • Accept the requirements from the Notice of Enforcement Action
    • This includes the enforcement decision and penalty
  • Give up the opportunity for an enforcement hearing
  • Agree the contravention is now part of your compliance history

If your Notice of Enforcement Action contains more than one contravention

  • You can sign a waiver for one or more of the contraventions, and challenge the others at an enforcement hearing

Once the general manager receives your signed waiver, the general manager issues a penalty letter outlining the

  • Procedures for imposing the penalty
  • Conditions of the penalty

The penalty can be either a monetary penalty or a licence suspension.

Monetary penalty payment

You need to pay any penalty within 30 days, or within the time frame stated in your enforcement order letter.

  • The time frame for payment of a monetary penalty is not subject to reconsideration

Not signing a waiver

If you choose not to sign the waiver, the next step is an enforcement hearing.