ABRA's Last Call Newsletter: May/June 2019

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Last Call Newsletter

May-June 2019

ABRA Bills Under Review

Between March 29 and May 3, 2019, Chairman Phil Mendelson, at the request of Mayor Muriel Bowser, introduced four Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA)-authored bills that would make various changes to DC’s alcohol laws. All are currently under consideration by the DC Council.

Collectively the bills focus on improving regulatory compliance measures, increasing efficiency, clarifying requirements for applicants and license holders, and safeguarding public health and safety. 

Key highlights of each—all of which would amend Title 25 of the DC Official Code—are as follows:

Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Amendment Act of 2019 | B23-0227

Updates the enforcement provisions to ensure that the Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Board can effectively preserve and promote peace, order, and quiet in the community. Proposed amendments include:

  • Establishing additional guidelines for wholesalers.
  • Prohibiting ABC Managers from lending their ABC Manager license to a third party or from borrowing another person’s ABC Manager license.
  • Eliminating certain requirements for internet licenses. 

Alcoholic Beverage Procedural and Technical Amendment of 2019 | B23-0255

In addition to making technical and procedural changes such as correcting zoning districts, other proposed updates include:

  • Establishing parameters for licenses in safekeeping.
  • Clarifying the requirement for filing successive applications and what it means to be an “abutting property owner” for purposes of filing a protest.
  • Prohibiting other ABC license holders from filing protests unless they otherwise meet the criteria for another protest category.

Alcoholic Beverage Control Board License Categories, Endorsement, and Hourly and Percentage Rate Amendment Act of 2019 | B23-0254

Changes certain alcohol license category requirements. Revisions proposed include: 

  • Extending the validity of Pub Crawl Licenses from one to three years unless the license is suspended or revoked prior to expiration.
  • Allowing Wholesaler Class A or B License holders to deliver alcoholic beverages on Sundays.

Manufacturer and Pub Permit Parity Amendment Act of 2019 | B23-0277

Focuses on enabling DC-based businesses that manufacture wine, beer, and spirits to collaborate with other local alcohol manufacturers and sell their products in DC. Updates include:

  • Increasing the alcohol by volume percentage for wine manufacturers at wine pubs and wineries from 15 to 21 percent.
  • Allowing holders of Wine Pub and Distillery Pub Permits to ship products directly to DC residents.
  • Making permissible Pub Permit holders to manufacture alcoholic beverages off-site if the production facility is within 600 feet of the licensed premises.

Updates on the status of each bill will be included on ABRA’s website, in future issues of Last Call, and on Facebook and Twitter

Solicitors BY July 1

Annual fee payments for Solicitor's Licenses are due by Monday, July 1, 2019. The annual fee is $325.

Licensees with outstanding balances should expect to receive their statement in the mail in early-June. Licensees that do not receive a statement or need to update their contact information, may contact ABRA either:

  • In-Person. ABRA, 2000 14th Street NW, Ste. 400, Washington, DC 20009
  • By Phone. 202.442.4423

All Solicitor's Licenses are valid for up to three years and can be paid for one, two, or three years at the time. Licensees that previously paid the required fee for two or three years for their current Solicitor's License in 2018 and 2017 respectively, are considered current and will not receive a statement. 

All current licenses are valid through June 30, 2020. Payments must be received in full by the deadline to avoid penalties and/or cancellation of the license. 

Additional details including accepted forms of payment available on the ABRA website.

Nick Alberti End of Service

On Wednesday, May 1, ABC Board Member Nick Alberti retired from the Board after 11 years of dedicated service. During his storied tenure, Board Member Alberti:

  • Played a major role in developing the requirements for reopening an establishment closed by the Chief of Police.
  • Stewarded the process for handling cases involving sale to minor violations.
  • Initiated important changes to the Board’s civil penalty schedule.

In opening the ABC Board Hearing, Board Chairperson Donovan Anderson recognized Board Member Alberti’s contributions and having set the highest standard of what a Board Member should be.

“He has consistently taken the time over the years to assist and help new Board Members,” said ABC Board Chairperson Anderson. “His constant support of staff has earned him the appreciation and respect of ABRA employees and the Board.”

Current ABC Board members are listed on the ABRA website

Memorial Day & Independence Day

As part of DC’s Extended Holiday Hours Program, more than 200 restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and hotels located in DC are eligible to serve alcohol for one hour later—till 4:00 a.m.—over the Memorial Day weekend beginning on the night of Friday, May 24, 2019 and ending on the morning of Monday, May 27. Find all eligible locations on ABRA's interactive map.

While the deadline to register for the Memorial Day holiday has passed, ABC businesses interested in extending operations in conjunction with one of the other 12 applicable holidays—including Independence Day—must register at least 30 days prior to the first date of the holiday they want to participate in. There is no fee to apply.

The deadline for consideration for the Independence Day holiday is Tuesday, June 4, 2019.

Once a licensee is registered, the registration is valid for each year after and for all applicable holidays.

Full program and eligibility details are available on ABRA’s website.


ABRA regularly hosts trainings at no cost to help licensees understand and adhere to ABC rules, regulations, processes, and how to better work with the community.

Two upcoming opportunities include: 

ID Compliance
Friday, July 12, 2019; Saturday, July 13, 2019; and Sunday, July 14, 2019 
9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m. | 11:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. | 2:30 p.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Individuals select their preferred date and time block. There are three sessions available each day.

Training will cover preventing sales to minors and intoxicated individuals, techniques to accurately verify IDs, tips for spotting fake IDs, and more.

Register Here


New Licensee Orientation
Thursday, August 8, 2019
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Advance registration ends Friday, August 2, 2019

Curriculum includes DC alcohol laws and regulations, tips for working effectively with the community, settlement agreements, expectations of licensees and best practices, as well as noise abatement and sound management.

Register Here

Requests for interpreters must be made by the respective registration deadline.

Training Location

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.