I’m Facing a Liquor License Suspension What Do I Do?July 22, 2020
A Liquor Inspector is designated as a Provincial Offences Officer with duties that include conducting scheduled inspections of establishments to ensure full compliance with the LLA (Liquor Licensing Act) Regulations. They inspect all prospective licensed establishments to verify licenses and application requirements.
What Kind of Things Cause Liquor License Penalties?
For a schedule of monetary penalties for the Liquor Licence Act Regulations see www.agco.ca/sites/default/files/schedule_mon_pen_lla.pdf
Periodically the Liquor Inspector will conduct spot inspections to ensure compliance. They will investigate complaints received from the general public and Police Services.
A liquor inspector may conduct undercover observations in licensed establishments and may conduct independent investigations, or work jointly with other Law enforcement and Regulatory Agencies.
Inspectors have enforcement options that may result in liquor license suspensions. They include a Caution, Provincial Offence Notice of Summons, Field Initiated Notice of Proposal (FINOP) and Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP). Liquor Inspectors have the designated authority from the Board of Directors of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission to serve a Notice of Proposal (NOP) and (OMP) Order of Monetary Penalty on behalf of the Registrar to propose to refuse, revoke, set fines, or suspend a Liquor License.
I ‘ve Been Served an NOP what do I do?
The Registrar must serve a Notice of Proposal (NOP) on the licensee/applicant that includes an outline of the reasons for the proposed action showing alleged non-compliance with the LLA (Liquor Licensing Act) Regulations.
As an Applicant or licensee you may dispute an NOP (Notice of Proposal) and appeal the proposal issued by the Registrar.
If you receive an NOP (Notice of Proposal) you have the right to a hearing/appeal before the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). You have fifteen (15) days to appeal to the Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT). If an appeal is not received within fifteen (15) days, the Registrar will carry out the proposed action behind the NOP and/or a final Order will be issued.
If serious violations are alleged and it is in the public interest to prevent a licensee from continuing to sell or serve alcohol, the Registrar may issue an Interim Suspension of a liquor licence. An interim suspension takes effect immediately.
The Licensee can submit a Notice of Appeal for an Interim Suspension and if at the appeal hearing the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT) members extend or rescind the Interim Suspension the suspension remains in effect for up to fifteen (15) days following the receipt of LAT’s decision.
The Licence Appeal Tribunal (LAT) is mandated to deliver a fair, impartial and efficient way to appeal decisions concerning liquor licenses regulated by the provincial government.
The Tribunal conducts hearings, receives appeals, resolves disputes, and makes decisions. The members conduct fair, and impartial hearings whereby they consider all evidence presented and make decisions with written reasons.
While you are not required to have a representative in the hearing/appeal, you should think carefully before deciding to represent yourself. A hearing/appeal is a quasi-judicial process very similar to appearing in a court.
Most Tribunal decisions are subject to appeal to the Superior Court of Justice (Divisional Court). All Tribunal proceedings are subject to judicial review under the Judicial Review Procedure Act. Licence Appeal Tribunal decisions are posted to CanLii.
I’ve Been Served an Order of Monetary Penalty What Do I Do?
If you are a licensee and have been served by the Registrar an Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP), the Order must include the allegation(s) and the details of the alleged infraction(s).
If you receive an OMP and wish to dispute it you must file an appeal. You have fifteen (15) days to submit a written request for an appeal to the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT). If an Appeal of the Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP) is not received within fifteen (15) days the OMP will be imposed and enforced by the Registrar. The Order of Monetary Penalty (OMP) is a legal Order and non-payment will result in further action being taken against your license.
In a hearing/appeal, the Registrar has experienced legal counsel to represent the AGCO in the License Appeal Tribunal (LAT). If you face Liquor License licensee violations, contact TicketSave Paralegals right away. They will aggressively defend your Ontario Liquor License Permit and your good standing to allow your business to continue serving alcohol while your expert paralegal deals with the details of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario rules, regulations and obligations.
The member(s) of the LAT tribunal hearing the case must remain neutral and cannot help you present your evidence or give you advice. You are expected to know and follow LAT’s Rules of Practice. You might find the process best handled by a good advocate on your own behalf. If you do decide to represent yourself, consider consulting an expert paralegal from Ticketsave before the hearing for advice on the strengths and weaknesses of your case and how to best present it to the Tribunal.