Code of the District of Columbia

§ 25–830. Civil penalties.

(a) Within 90 days after May 3, 2001, the Board shall submit proposed regulations setting forth a schedule of civil penalties (“schedule”) for violations of this title to the Council for a 60-day period of review, including Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, and periods of Council recess. If the Council does not approve, in whole or in part, the proposed regulations by resolution with the 60-day review period, the regulations shall be deem [deemed] disapproved. The schedule shall replace all civil penalties, except as expressly provided in this title.

(b) The schedule shall be prepared in accordance with the following provisions:

(1) The schedule shall contain 2 tiers that reflect the severity of the violation for which the penalty is imposed:

(A) The primary tier shall apply to more severe violations, including service to minors or violation of hours of sale or service of alcoholic beverages.

(B) The secondary tier shall apply to less severe violations, including the failure to post required signs.

(2) A subsequent violation in the same tier, whether a violation of the same provision or different one, shall be treated as a repeat violation for the purposes of imposing an increased penalty; provided, that all secondary tier infractions cited by ABRA investigators or Metropolitan Police Department Officers, during a single investigation or inspection on a single day, shall be deemed to be one secondary tier violation for the purposes of determining repeat violations under this section.

(c)(1) For primary tier violations, the penalties shall be no less than the following:

(A) For the first violation, no less than $1,000;

(B) For the second violation within 2 years, no less than $2,000;

(C) For the third violation within 3 years, no less than $4,000;

(D) For the fourth violation within 4 years, the Board shall revoke the licensee’s license or fine the licensee no less than $30,000 and suspend the licensee’s license for 30 consecutive days; and

(E) For the fifth violation within 4 years, the Board shall revoke the licensee’s license.

(2) Repealed.

(3) Repealed.

(4) Repealed.

(d)(1) For secondary tier violations, the penalties shall be no less than the following:

(A) For the first violation, no less than $250.

(B) For the second violation within 2 years, no less than $500.

(C) For the third violation within 3 years, no less than $750.

(D) For the fourth violation within 4 years, no less than $1,000.

(E) For the fifth violation or subsequent within 4 years, no less than $2,000.

(F) [Repealed].

(2) Repealed.

(e)(1) Except for an egregious violation as may be later defined by ABC rulemaking, no licensee shall be found to be in violation of a first-time violation of § 25-781 (sales to minors), unless the licensee has been given a written warning, or received a citation, for the violation, or had an enforcement proceeding before the Board, during the 4 years preceding the violation.

(2) A warning for a first-time violation of § 25-781 shall include a description of the violation. The Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration shall make available a schedule of fines that could be imposed upon subsequent violation. Within one year of [March 25, 2009], the Board shall submit a report on the status of the warning requirement for § 25-781 violations, including a statement on repeat offenders and subsequent fines or sanctions imposed. The provisions of paragraph (1) of this subsection, and the provisions of § 25-781(f) shall expire one year from [March 25, 2009], unless the Board finds each of the following:

(A) That the warning requirement was effective in correcting behavior that was the subject of the warning for those licensees; and

(B) That the warning requirement contributed to the overall prevention of sales to minors in the District of Columbia.

(3)(A) Within 60 days of [March 25, 2009], the Board shall issue proposed regulations for a comprehensive warning and violation structure, which shall include recommendations on which violations of the act or regulations shall require a warning for a first-time violation prior to penalty.

(B) Proposed rules under this subsection shall be submitted to the Council for a 30-day period of review. The Council may approve these proposed regulations, in whole or in part, by resolution. If the Council has not approved the regulations upon expiration of the 30-day review period, the regulations shall be deemed disapproved.

(f) The Board or the Council may amend the schedule. An amendment by the Board shall be submitted to the Council for its approval in accordance with subsection (a) of this section. The Board may fine for a violation not listed on the schedule consistent with the primary tier violation penalties set forth in subsection (c)(1) of this section.

(g) The schedule and any amendments to the schedule shall be published in the District of Columbia Register and promulgated by the procedure adopted under § 25-211(e).

(h) Penalties or fines assessed under this chapter shall be credited to the General Fund of the District of Columbia.

(i) It shall be a primary tier violation for a licensee to sell or serve alcohol on a suspended or expired license or a license held in safekeeping.

(j) It shall be a primary tier violation for a licensee to fail to comply with either of the statutory food requirements in § 25-113(b)(3)(B).

(k)(1) A licensee’s failure to timely remit a fine issued pursuant to this section shall be cause for the Board to suspend the license until the licensee pays the fine.

(2) If a licensee is 90 days delinquent on the payment of the fine, the Board shall give notice of its intent to revoke the licensee’s license.

(3) The licensee shall have 14 days to respond to the notice issued pursuant to paragraph (2) of this subsection.

(4) If the Board determines that the failure to pay the fine issued pursuant to this section is not for good cause, the Board shall revoke the licensee’s license.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-361, § 2(d)(3), 56 DCR 1204; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(gg), 60 DCR 3410; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-270, § 2(f)(4), 62 DCR 1866; Mar. 9, 2016, D.C. Law 21-84, § 2(f)(2), 63 DCR 781; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(g)(2), 65 DCR 9366.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-113, § 25-797, § 25-801, and § 25-823.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-361 rewrote subsec. (e) and added the second sentence to subsec. (f). Prior to amendment, subsec. (e) read as follows: “(e) The Board may specify violations for which a licensee may be given a warning before the issuance of a citation for a first violation.”

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 rewrote (c)(3), which read “A licensee found in violation of a primary tier offense for the fourth time within 4 years shall have the license revoked”; added (c)(4); and added (i) and (j).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-270 added (k).

The 2016 amendment by D.C. Law 21-84 added (c)(1)(D) and (c)(1)(E) and made related changes; repealed (c)(2) to (c)(4); added d)(1)(D) to (d)(1)(F); and repealed (d)(2).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of (c), and addition of (i) and (j), see § 2(gg) 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(gg) 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).

References in Text

The reference in subsection (e)(3)(A) to “the act” is a reference to the Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Amendment Act of 2008, effective March 25, 2009 (D.C. Law 17-361; 56 DCR 1204).

Resolutions

Resolution 15-340, the “Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Civil Penalty Schedule Regulations Approval Resolution of 2003”, was approved effective December 2, 2003.

Resolution 18-488, the “Egregious First Time Sale to Minor Violation Clarification Regulations Approval Resolution of 2010”, was approved effective June 1, 2010.

Resolution 18-522, the “East Dupont Circle Moratorium Zone Regulations Approval Resolution of 2010”, was approved effective June 29, 2010.

Resolution 18-540, the “Drinking and Driving Warning Sign Regulation Approval Resolution of 2010”, was approved effective July 13, 2010.

Resolution 18-701, the “Georgetown Moratorium Zone Revised Approval Resolution of 2010”, was approved effective December 21, 2010.