Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–783. Production of valid identification document required; penalty.

(a) A licensee shall refuse to sell, serve, or deliver an alcoholic beverage to any person who, upon request of the licensee, fails to produce a valid identification document.

(b) A licensee or his agent or employee shall take steps reasonably necessary to ascertain whether any person to whom the licensee sells, delivers, or serves an alcoholic beverage is of legal drinking age. Any person who supplies a valid identification document showing his or her age to be the legal drinking age shall be deemed to be of legal drinking age.

(c) A violation of subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be punishable as a primary tier violation.

(c-1)(1) In determining whether a licensee has prior violations for the purposes of subsection (c) of this section, the 4-year period is the 4 years immediately preceding the date of the incident or conduct in the case pending before the Board for which the licensee has been found liable of violating subsection (a) or (b) of this section, either by an order of the Board, the Board's acceptance of an offer-in-compromise, of the licensee's payment of a fine.

(2) A prior violation falls within the 4-year period if the date that the licensee was found liable of violating subsection (a) or (b) of this section, either by an order of the Board, the Board's acceptance of an offer-in-compromise, or the licensee's payment of a fine, falls within the 4-year period.

(3) For the purposes of this subsection, the term "offer-in-compromise" means a negotiation between the government and the respondent to settle the charges brought by the government for those violations committed by the respondent.

(d) The provisions of this section notwithstanding, no licensee shall discriminate on any basis prohibited by Unit A of Chapter 14 of Title 2.

(e) An affirmative defense to a violation of subsection (a) of this section shall be that the person was at the time of the violation 21 years of age or older.


(Jan. 24, 1934, 48 Stat. 331, ch. 4, § 20; Aug. 27, 1935, 49 Stat. 901, ch. 756, § 10; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 104, ch. 159, § 404(g); Sept. 29, 1982, D.C. Law 4-157, § 12, 29 DCR 3617; Sept. 26, 1984, D.C. Law 5-106, § 2, 31 DCR 3381; Feb. 24, 1987, D.C. Law 6-178, § 2(a), 33 DCR 7654; Mar. 7, 1987, D.C. Law 6-217, § 12, 34 DCR 907; Sept. 11, 1993, D.C. Law 10-12,§ 2(c), 40 DCR 4020; May 24, 1994, D.C. Law 10-122, § 2(i), 41 DCR 1658; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(cc), 60 DCR 3410; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-270, § 2(e)(9), 62 DCR 1866; Mar. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-84, § 2(e)(6), 63 DCR 781; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-260, § 2(f)(7), 64 DCR 2079; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(f)(9), 65 DCR 9366.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-783.

1973 Ed., § 25-121.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 added (e).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-270 substituted “preceding 4 years” for “preceding 2 years” in the introductory language of (c).

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-84 added “the penalties shall be the following” in the introductory language of (c); substituted “fourth or subsequent violation” for “fourth violation” in (c)(4); and repealed (c)(5).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Sale to Minors Penalty Clarification Congressional Review Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-472, July 21, 2016, 63 DCR 10170).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Sale to Minors Penalty Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Act 21-398, May 19, 2016, 63 DCR 7912).

For temporary addition of (e), see § 2(cc) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(cc) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-52, April 22, 2013, 60 DCR 6372, 20 DCSTAT 1388).

Temporary Legislation

For temporary (225 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(b) of Sale to Minors Penalty Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2016 (D.C. Law 21-147, Aug. 19, 2016, 63 DCR 9284).