Purpose of Practice

To place restrictions on liquor licenses allow OLCC to issue licenses to businesses that otherwise may not be granted a license. OLCC can place operational requirements for the licensed business to meet individual circumstances of the business and community needs.

Description of Practice

The state of Oregon issues liquor licenses to businesses, as provided by state statutes. These statutes provide a general description of the retail or wholesale privileges available under each type of license. The license privilege types are intended to cover a variety of operations; for example a full on-premises sales license is available for operations that range from private clubs to full service restaurants to bars, bars, night clubs, and even large public venues. State administrative rules provide some parameters on allowable operating hours for all licensed businesses. The rules place some limitations on advertising and sales practices. But, with the exception of large public venues, these rules do not outline operating requirements or limitations for specific operations. But, the OLCC can impose restrictions on liquor licenses to address concerns about the operation of specific liquor-licensed businesses. OLCC can use restrictions to: • require minimum business security staffing levels during specific days and hours • prohibit specific activities (for example not allowing live entertainment at a business that has had a history of problems associated with entertainment). • prohibit specifically named persons from being involved in the operation or management of the business (for example, persons who had a poor compliance record when they were previously licensed). • prohibit “to go” sales of some types of alcoholic beverages (such as fortified wines or high alcohol content malt beverages). • limit hours of alcohol sales, limit hours of operation, limit the number of drinks that can be sold per transaction, or limit the amount of alcohol in a drink. Oregon administrative rule 845-005-0355 (see below) gives the OLCC the ability to impose restrictions on liquor licenses to overcome OLCC’s otherwise refusing to grant a license. The refusal might have been to prevent the recurrence of problems that caused a violation, or based on the public interest or convenience. Public interest or convenience issues include the environment of the neighborhood where the business is located; the need to eliminate or prevent conditions that the OLCC reasonably believes will contribute to liquor or criminal law violations; or the need to limit the availability of alcohol to minors, visibly intoxicated persons, or the public. The recommended penalty for violating a license restriction is the cancellation of the liquor license, although the OLCC can impose lesser penalties, including license suspensions or fines if there are mitigating circumstances. Overall, license restrictions are an effective tool effective tool for addressing public safety and community livability issues at existing businesses, and for preventing new businesses from contributing to existing problems in an area. Oregon Administrative Rule 845-005-0355 Restricting License Privileges and Conduct of Operations (1) The Commission may restrict a license or service permit when: (a) In the absence of a restriction, the Commission has a basis to cancel, suspend/fine or deny the license or service permit; (b) In addition to all or part of a suspension or fine, a restriction may prevent the recurrence of the problem(s) that caused the violation(s); or (c) The Commission determines that a restriction is in the public interest or convenience. (2) In determining public interest or convenience reasons to restrict a license or permit, the Commission considers factors that include but are not limited to: (a) The character or environment of the neighborhood in which the licensed premises operate; (b) The need to eliminate or prevent conditions that have contributed to or that the Commission reasonably believes will contribute to liquor or criminal law violations by the licensee, patrons of the licensed premises or the public; or (c) The need to limit the availability of alcohol to minors, visibly intoxicated persons or street drinkers. (3) The Commission has determined that it is not in the public interest or convenience to issue or renew: (a) A license that allows off-premises sales in an area frequented by street drinkers, unless the Commission restricts the sales of the alcoholic beverages associated with street drinkers; (b) A license to a relative or associate of a person whose license was cancelled, surrendered or not renewed because of problems at the premises that involved the person, unless the Commission restricts the relative or associate from permitting the person from being on the premises; (c) A license or permit to a person who has a recent history or record of alcohol or drug problems, unless the Commission requires the person to complete an alcohol/drug treatment program and follow the program's recommendations regarding alcohol/drug use or to abstain from alcohol/drug use. (4) When the Commission restricts a license or service permit, it notifies the licensee or permittee. If the licensee or permittee disagrees with the restriction, the licensee or permittee has the right to a hearing under the procedures in ORS chapter 183; OAR chapter 137, division 003; and OAR chapter 845, division 003. (5) A licensee or permittee who has a restricted license or permit must exercise license or permit privileges only in compliance with the restriction(s). Failure to comply with the restriction(s) is a Category I violation. (6) A restriction remains in effect until the Commission removes it. The licensee or permittee may ask the Commission to remove or modify a restriction. The written request must explain why the licensee or permittee believes the Commission should remove or modify the restriction. The Commission will notify the licensee or permittee, in writing, of its decision to approve or deny the request and the basis for its decision. If the Commission denies the request, the licensee or permittee has the right to a hearing under the procedures in ORS chapter 183; OAR chapter 137, division 003; and OAR chapter 845, division 003. (7) As used in subsections (2)(c) and (3)(a) of this rule, "street drinkers" mean people who drink unlawfully in streets, alleys, parks and other similar public places. (8) As used in subsection (2)(b) of this rule, "conditions" means conditions in the immediate vicinity of the premises that are related to the exercise of the license privileges and conditions in the premises or in the areas around the premises that the applicant/licensee controls.

Success or Improvements

OLCC has a long-standing practice of placing restrictions on licenses to ensure community livability and to grant licenses that otherwise would be refused.


Name: Dan McNeal, OLCC Licensing Manager 
Agency: OLCC 
Address: 9079 SE McLoughlin Blvd., Portland, OR 97222 
Tele: 503-872-5187 
Email: dan.mcneal@state.or.us