Inspections and the enforcement process
- Inspecting licensed and authorized establishments
- Investigating complaints
On this page:
LCRB inspectors regularly inspect licensed and authorized establishments to make sure you are following the liquor or cannabis laws relevant to your licence or authorization type and the terms and conditions of the licence or authorization.
These inspections may be done with or without advance notice.
Generally, inspections focus on issues, such as
- Sale to minors
- Sale or purchase of unlawful liquor
- Sale, possession, or supply of unlawful cannabis
- Community disturbances associated with the operation of a licensed or authorized establishment
Local police officers may also make regular, unannounced visits to licensed or authorized establishments. Generally, they look for anything that may lead to a disturbance within the community or could threaten public safety, such as
- Minors in possession of liquor or 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.
Records for inspection
Inspectors also do inspections to review records and documents, such as your
- Liquor or cannabis licence or authorization
- Floor plan
- Serving It Right or Selling It Right certification for staff
- Liquor or cannabis register
After an inspection
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 or authorization,
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.
Liquor and cannabis seizures
A seizure occurs when Liquor and LCRB inspector(s) confiscate any relevant evidence (generally liquor or cannabis) found in connection with:
- a contravention of the applicable legislation
- regulations, or
- terms and conditions
Seizures generally occur if the inspector intends to pursue enforcement action. Learn more about liquor and cannabis seizures.
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 (NOEA)
- 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 NOEA
- A NOEA goes out to you, by email or regular mail
- The notice includes
- Details of the contravention
- Your options
Notice of Enforcement Action (NOEA)
Examples of enforcement actions include:
- Monetary penalty
- Licence, authorization or permit cancellation
- Terms and conditions
- Transfer of licence
The general manager can propose 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 or authorization suspension issued.
You can choose between a fine or licence or authorization suspension if:
- It is the first liquor contravention within a 24-month period or the first cannabis contravention within a 12-month period
- The minimum of either penalty found in the schedules below is suitable. Either penalty could be a monetary-penalty or a suspension
The NOEA will also include the provision for a licensee or authorization holder to waive the opportunity for a hearing through a waiver notice. Waiver notices must be signed by the licensee, authorization holder or shareholder and a witness.
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 NOEA 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 or authorization suspension.
Monetary penalty payment
You need to pay the monetary penalty in full within 30 days, or within the time frame stated in your penalty letter.
- The time frame for payment of a monetary penalty is not subject to reconsideration
If you choose not to sign the waiver, the next step is an enforcement hearing.