ABRA's Last Call Newsletter: June/July 2018 Edition

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Last Call Newsletter

June-July 2018

19 Class A Licenses Available

19 off-premises class A retailer's (liquor store) licenses will become available for application at the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) beginning at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 28, 2018.

The new availability is due to nine class A retailer’s licenses converting to class IA internet only licenses and 10 class A license cancellations. 

A business owner that wants to apply for one of the licenses can submit an application in person at ABRA's office that morning, which is located at:

2000 14th St,, NW, Suite 400 South, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20009.

Completed license applications will be reviewed on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to the consideration of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. 

Previously, ABRA could not accept applications for new liquor store licenses since the number of pending and issued class A retailer licenses had reached 250, which is the cap set by law for stores permitted to sell spirits, beer and wine for off-premises consumption. Due to the conversions and cancellations, that number has now fallen to 231.

New class A retailer’s license applications for a location in Ward 4 will not be accepted. Ward 4 has a moratorium in place that prohibits the issuance of new class A retailer’s licenses. 

The cap does not affect a liquor store owner's ability to transfer its license to a new location or to a new owner. Any transfer would be subject to review and approval of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. 

Applicants that have questions can contact ABRA by emailing or calling (202) 442-4423.

Increased ABRA share of the MPD RDO Program

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board has adopted new emergency rules that expand subsidies to support the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Reimbursable Detail Subsidy Program (RDO) by 5 percent.

Effective July 1, 2018 the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) will now pay 65% of the costs incurred by licensees for retaining off-duty MPD officers to patrol their surrounding areas, outdoor special events or pub crawls under the RDO program. The increase comes just in time for summer, when the District typically experiences a significant increase in the number of people patronizing licensed establishments. The change will also benefit establishments and the community during the 2018 MLB All-Star Game, during which licensees can register for five days of extended hours.

The RDO program has helped licensees and the community by remediating traffic congestion, promoting public safety, and ensuring the peace and order of the neighborhood. Now that a greater portion of the RDO cost will be borne by the District, licensed establishments can expand their use of the program.

Full payment will continue to be due to MPD at least five days prior to any detail; however, MPD will need confirmation of the days and hours for which a licensee will need reimbursable detail officers prior to generating a new invoice.

The Board regularly monitors and modifies the RDO program when adequate funding is available in the budget to expand the distribution of subsidies. The latest revisions to the emergency rules, which modify subsections §718.2 and §718.3 of chapter 7 of Title 23 (Alcoholic Beverages) of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR), were adopted by the Board on June 6, 2018.

Licensees can find more information about the program on our website. If you still have questions regarding the modifications of this program, please contact ABRA at 202-442-4423.

Tip Sheet

This summer, the District will host several major events that will draw thousands of people to the city, including the 2018 MLB All-Star Game. In an effort to proactively mitigate potential issues between licensed establishments and the community and to prevent potential Alcoholic Beverage Control violations, Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration investigators will be handing out tip sheets to licensees in close proximity to these events. The tip sheets can be posted behind the bar to remind licensees and their staff of best practices to deal with an influx of crowds. 

The tip sheets have already been distributed to establishments around the Capital One Arena before games three and four of the Stanley Cup Finals. They include pertinent information on regulations regarding overcrowding, ID checks, trash pickup, noise, last call, outdoor areas and more. 

To view this tip sheet, please visit ABRA's website. 

Independence Day extended hours

Independence Day celebrations will kick off the night before at some establishments in the District. That's because under the District's Extended Holiday Hours Program, more than 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels are registered to sell and serve alcohol an hour later on the night of Tuesday, July 3, 2018.

Licensees registered for the program must end alcohol service by 4:00 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, July 4, 2018, unless an enrolled establishment is required by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to close earlier. Extended hours are not offered on the night of Wednesday, July 4. Because the holiday does not fall on a Monday this year, licensees are only permitted to stay open later for one night.

While the deadline has passed to register for Independence Day extended hours, there is still time for establishments to sign up for the Labor Day holiday weekend. An on-premises licensee that is interested in participating in the program can apply by submitting a registration form at least 30 days prior to the first holiday an applicant wants to participate. Once a licensee is registered for the program, the establishment is eligible to participate in the program each year thereafter. 

Licensees with settlement agreements or Board orders restricting closing hours may not be eligible to participate. Those registered for Memorial Day extended hours are also registered for Independence Day extended hours. 

Complete details are available on ABRA's website.

Quarterly statements due july 30

Alcoholic Beverage Control licensed restaurants and hotels are required to file quarterly statements with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration by Monday, July 30, 2018. Statements are to report last April - June gross sales receipts for food and alcohol as well as total expenses for the purchase of food and alcohol. 

Under the law, restaurants and hotels with a class C license are required to meet annual gross food sales of $2,000 per occupant or 45% of annual gross receipts. For a class D license, restaurants and hotels are required to meet annual gross food sales of $1,500 per occupant or 45% of annual gross receipts. 

Hotel sales requirements are based on dining room occupancy. Quarterly statements may be reported online or with a printed form. Instructions are available on our website for completing the form.

Solicitor payments due

Representatives of wholesalers and manufacturers, also known as solicitors, are required to make license payments to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) by Monday, July 2, 2018. Solicitors should have received payment notices by mail at the end of May. Payment may be mailed or delivered in person to ABRA's office. 

Beginning July 3, 2018, a fee of $50 per day will be assessed for any payment that is late. Late fees may not exceed the cost of the license.

If you have any questions or have not received your payment notice, please contact ABRA by emailing or calling (202) 442-4423.

Register for All Star and World Cup extended hours

Eligible establishments can register with ABRA by Thursday, June 7, 2018 in order to operate and allow the sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages beginning at 7:00 a.m. daily from June 14 to July 15, 2018 for the 2018 FIFA World Cup Tournament. Registration does not affect the licensee's closing hours.

Eligible establishments can also register with ABRA by Tuesday, July 3, 2018 to extend their hours to allow the sale, service and consumption of alcoholic beverages on-premises until 4 am and operate 24 hours a day from July 14 to July 18, 2018 during the 2018 MLB All-Star Game events.

Licensees are required to register to participate. The registration fee is $100 per program. Once a licensee is registered in the program, ABRA will provide the licensee with a separate All-Star Game or World Cup license, which must be posted in a visible location at the establishment throughout the extended hours period. ABRA will notify the Metropolitan Police Department of all registered establishments.

For more information and to register, visit ABRA's World Cup and All-Star Game Extended Hours webpage. 

Register for trainings

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) has a host of upcoming free trainings for licensees.

Licensee Orientation Training

ABRA has added two new Licensee Orientation Trainings to its schedule this year. All new and existing licensees throughout the District are invited to attend. The next two trainings will be:

Thursday, June 14, 2018 (RSVP by June 8)
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 16, 2018 (RSVP by August 9)
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The training will cover District alcohol laws and regulations (including recent changes to the law), tips for working effectively with the community, settlement agreements, expectations of licensees and best practices, as well as noise abatement and sound management.

Register online or contact ABRA Community Resource Officer Sarah Fashbaugh by email or by calling (202) 397-3971.

Attendance for this class is strongly recommended for new license holders. Training is free of charge. Requests for interpreters may be made but must be submitted by the registration deadline.

Books and Records Training

Hotel and restaurant licensees are invited to attend ABRA's Books and Records Training on:

Thursday, September 13, 2018 at either:
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Spanish interpreter available); or
2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Korean interpreter available).

Training will cover food sales requirements and reporting, quarterly statement filings, and books and records tracking. For additional dates, please visit ABRA’s website.

Register online or contact ABRA Compliance Analyst Monica Clark by email or by calling (202) 442-4438.

ID Compliance Training

The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) provides annual ID Compliance Training for ABC licensees and their staff. The training will cover prevention of sales of alcoholic beverages to minors and intoxicated persons, techniques for properly verifying IDs, tips for spotting fake IDs and information on ABRA compliance checks.

ID Compliance trainings will be held:

July 13, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

July 14, 2018 
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

July 15, 2018
9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Korean)
11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. (Spanish)
2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

RSVP by contacting Jackie Richardson by email or by calling (202) 442-4446.

Visit our website for additional information. 

Training Locations

All trainings are free of charge and located at ABRA's office at: 

2000 14th St., NW
Suite 400 South, 4th Floor 
Washington, DC 20009