ABRA's Last Call Newsletter: Oct/Nov 2018 Edition

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Last Call Newsletter

Oct.-Nov. 2018

ABRA receiving award

On Nov. 5, The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) was awarded the "Alcohol Law Enforcement Agency of the Year" by the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association (NLLEA) at a ceremony in Seattle, WA. NLLEA chooses the award recipient from agencies across the country for the organization that best demonstrates program effectiveness through model
programs and practices. 

In a letter to ABRA, NLLEA President, Justin Nordham said that ABRA was the "ideal recipient" for the award, chosen for its "effectiveness in coordinating a comprehensive plan to create a well-regulated environment in the District Wharf along with enforcement strategies designed to protect public safety during multiple large events...and multi-agency collaboration."

This past year, ABRA faced challenges unlike any other in its history. The number of unique obstacles required the agency to implement creative and efficient strategies to maintain a safe, secure and well-regulated environment throughout the
nation’s capital as events unfolded.
This was all achieved with great transparency, as the agency constantly communicated its programs and decisions with licensees, the media and the community to great acclaim. 

“It’s an honor for the agency to receive this prestigious national award," said ABRA Director, Fred Moosally. "ABRA had its most challenging year ever last year and staff rose to meet every challenge to ensure a safe and well-regulated environment for the District. It is a great privilege to receive recognition for their work.”

ABRA has previously received two NLLEA awards, but never for Agency of the Year. In 2009, ABRA was recognized for its special licensing, education and enforcement initiatives during the 56th Presidential Inauguration and in 2017, it received the Program of the Year award for DC: Double Check 101

omnibus tip sheet

The Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Amendment Act of 2018, became District law on Tuesday, Oct. 30. The bill makes significant changes to alcohol businesses across the city that improves regulatory compliance measures while easing some restrictions for many ABC licensees. 

The bill provides additional business opportunities for District alcohol manufacturers including allowing manufacturers who create beer, wine or spirits to create and sell collaboration products with other alcohol manufacturers; allowing manufacturers to sell and deliver alcohol produced at their licensed establishment over the internet directly to homes in the District; authorizing manufacturers to participate in The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration’s (ABRA) Extended Holiday Hours; and allowing off-premises retailer licenses, class A and B to sell beer and wine in crowlers.

In order to help licensees understand some of the changes to the law, ABRA has published a "tip sheet" that provides a brief overview of some of the more prominent changes. For the full details on each of these proposed changes and others, please review the Omnibus bill in its entirety.

New Year's Eve Extended Holiday Hours

Under the District's Extended Holiday Hours program, 207 restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels are registered to sell and serve alcohol until 4 a.m. on the night of Dec. 31, for the New Year's Day holiday. 

Licensees registered for the program must end alcohol service by 4 a.m. the morning of New Year's Day unless an enrolled establishment is required by the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to close earlier. Click here for a list of registered establishments and an interactive map of where they are located.

There is still time for establishments to sign up for the New Year’s Day holiday extended hours, prior to the Monday, December 3, 2018 deadline. 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 in. Once a licensee is registered for the program, the establishment is eligible to participate each year thereafter. 

Licensees with settlement agreements or Board orders restricting closing hours may not be eligible to participate.

Pub Crawl Renewals

All pub crawl licenses issued in 2018 expire on Dec. 31, 2018. Promoters and organizers that are planning to host pub crawls in 2019 need to apply for a new 2019 pub crawl license and ensure hours of operation permit participation.

pub crawl license application needs to be submitted to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) at least 60 days prior to an initial pub crawl event. Applicants must also pay a fee of $500 for the license, which is only valid for the calendar year that it is issued. A promoter or organizer that has an event proposed for early 2019 is strongly encouraged to submit the application as soon as possible. 

In addition to the annual license application, promoters and organizers are required to submit an event formlitter removal plan and other required documentation for each pub crawl that will have 200 people or more in the District. Pub crawls cannot be held on July 4, Oct. 31 and Dec. 31.

Applications are subject to the approval of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board. 

Complete pub crawl licensing information is available on ABRA's website

Board Calendar and Recess

The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board (Board) will be on recess Wednesday, Nov.21, Dec.19, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2. ABRA's office will remain open and operate while the Board is on recess.

The Board will reconvene on Wednesday, Nov. 28 and Jan. 9.


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

Licensee Orientation Training

ABRA has added a number of new Licensee Orientation Trainings to its schedule this year. All new and existing licensees throughout the District are invited to attend. The next training will be held from 2-4 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018.

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 Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 by emailing or calling (202) 397-3971.

Training Location

All trainings are located at ABRA's office at 2000 14th St., NW, Suite 400 South, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20009.