Personal use of alcohol purchased by a licensed premises

In my liquor license practice, rarely does a client not ask about using the alcohol stock for personal use. The feeling is that as the owner of the business, the client should be able to use stock at will. If you find yourself caught up in these same thoughts, remember: you are not your business.

Mixing business and personal expenses is an accounting burden. If a retail licensee wants to take home a bottle for personal use, he/she must log the disposition of that bottle in the retail sales records to account for the bottle. Failure to keep accurate records of the sale or other disposition of all alcohol purchased can be a violation of the license.

If you have a suspended license, the use of alcohol is expressly forbidden. A client recently asked, “is it really true that I can’t use my own alcohol when I am under suspension?” I had to advise him this was true. When a licensee is under a suspension order, it cannot serve alcohol on the licensed premises, even at a private party among family and friends where no “sales” (as we traditionally think of them) are made.

A suspension order will contain the details of the regulatory order and legal restrictions. It must remain posted on the door or window until it expires. No alcoholic beverages can be purchased, sold or served during the period of suspension. The suspension order begins at 10am the day it takes effect and continues until 10am the day it expires.