Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Hours; Noise Restrictions; Control of Litter.


§ 25–721. Hours of sale and delivery for wholesalers and manufacturers.

(a) A licensee under a wholesaler’s license shall sell and deliver alcoholic beverages only between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 1:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday; provided, that licensees may also make deliveries between 5:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday.

(b) In addition to the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, the licensee under a wholesaler’s license, class A or B, may deliver alcoholic beverages to a license under a temporary license, class F or G, license between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. on Sunday.

(c) A manufacturer's license, class A, B, or C, holding an on-site sales and consumption permit may sell and serve alcoholic beverages on any day and time except between the following hours:

(1) 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday; and

(2) 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

(d) A manufacturer's license, class A, B, or C, may deliver alcoholic beverages manufactured at the licensed premises to wholesalers, retailers, and the homes of District of Columbia residents between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and midnight, 7 days a week.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Feb. 22, 2014, D.C. Law 20-81, § 2, 61 DCR 173; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-270, § 2(e)(4), 62 DCR 1866; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(f)(4), 65 DCR 9366.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-81 deleted “a manufacturer’s license or” preceding “a wholesaler’s license” in (a); deleted “a manufacturer’s license, class A or B, or” preceding “a wholesaler’s license” in (b); and added (c).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-270 substituted “class A, B, or C” I for “class A or B,” in (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(a) of Inaugural Celebration Extension of Hours Public Safety Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-616, December 19, 2008, 56 DCR 44).


§ 25–722. Hours of sale and delivery for off-premises retail licensees.

(a) A licensee under an off-premises retailer’s license, class A or B, may sell and deliver alcoholic beverages only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and midnight, Monday through Saturday, and during those same hours on December 24 and 31 of each year, subject to voluntary agreements [settlement agreements] pursuant to § 25-446.

(b) The Board may also permit a licensee under an off-premises retailer’s license, class A or B, to sell or deliver alcoholic beverages between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and midnight on Sundays, subject to voluntary agreements [settlement agreements] pursuant to § 25-446.

(c) [Repealed].


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Sept. 30, 2004, D.C. Law 15-187, § 101(z), 51 DCR 6525; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 8122, 58 DCR 6226; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 2052, 59 DCR 8025; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(y), 60 DCR 3410; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-260, § 2(f)(2), 64 DCR 2079.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-123.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-187 rewrote the section.

D.C. Law 19-21, in subsecs. (a) and (b), substituted “midnight” for “10 p.m.”.

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “7:00 a.m.” for “9:00 a.m.” in (a) and (b); added “subject to voluntary agreements pursuant to § 25-446” in (a); and added “subject to the voluntary agreements pursuant to § 25-446” in (b).

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 substituted “class A or B” for “class B” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) addition of section, see § 2 of Independence Day Class A Retailer Sales Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-451, June 28, 2010, 57 DCR 5667).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 8012 of Fiscal Year 2012 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2011 (D.C. Act 19-93, June 29, 2011, 58 DCR 5599).

For temporary amendment of (b), see § 2(y) 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(y) 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).

Short Title

Short title: Section 8121 of D.C. Law 19-21 provided that subtitle M of title VIII of the act may be cited as “Off-premise Alcohol Act of 2011”.

Editor's Notes

Section 8124 of D.C. Law 19-21 provided: “Sec. 8124. This subtitle shall apply as of July 1, 2011.”


§ 25–723. Hours of sale and service for on-premises retail licensees and temporary licensees.

(a) The licensee under a hotel license may make available in the room of a registered adult guest, and charge to the registered guest if consumed, miniatures as defined in § 25-101(32A) at all hours on any day of the week.

(b) Except as provided in § 25-724 and subsections (c), (d), and (g) of this section, the licensee under an on-premises retailer's, a manufacturer's license that holds an on-site sales and consumption permit, or a temporary license may sell, serve, or consume alcoholic beverages on any day and at any time except between the following hours:

(1) 2:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday, excluding District and federal holidays; and

(2) 3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday, excluding District and federal holidays.

(c)(1) Except as provided in § 25-724, the licensee under an on-premises retailer's license, a manufacturer's license that holds an on-site sales and consumption permit, or a temporary license may sell, serve, or consume alcoholic beverages until 4:00 a.m. and operate 24 hours a day during the following times:

(A) On a District or federal holiday;

(B) The Saturday and Sunday preceding Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday, Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day, as set forth in § 1-612.02(a);

(C) The Saturday and Sunday adjacent to January 1 (New Year’s Day) and July 4 (Independence Day); except, that if the holiday under this subparagraph occurs on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday, this subparagraph shall not apply; and

(D) The Friday, Saturday, and Sunday following Thanksgiving Day, as set forth in § 1-612.02(a)(9).

(2) A licensee operating under an on-premises retailer's license or a manufacturer's license that holds an on-site sales and consumption permit shall not be required to obtain Board approval to sell, serve, or consume alcoholic beverages and operate in accordance with paragraph (1) of this subsection.

(3) This subsection shall not apply during Inaugural Week, as defined in subsection (e) of this section.

(4) No fewer than 30 days before the first holiday on which a licensee seeks to extend its hours of operation pursuant to this subsection, the licensee shall provide written notification and a public safety plan to the Board and the Metropolitan Police Department of its intent to extend its hours of operation.

(d) [Repealed].

(e)(1) Every 4 years, beginning in 2013, the week of January 15 through January 21, shall be designated "Inaugural Week"; except, that in 2017, January 14 through January 22 shall be designated "Inaugural Week." Except as provided in § 25-724, during Inaugural Week, a licensee under an on premises retailer's license, a manufacturer's license, or a temporary license may sell, serve, or consume alcoholic beverages until 4 a.m. and operate 24 hours a day if the licensee:

(A) Provides written notification and a public safety plan, no later than January 7, to the Board and the Metropolitan Police Department of its hours of operation; and

(B) Pays the following fee for each day it will serve alcohol pursuant to this subsection:

(i) $250 for a CN licensee;

(ii) $100 for a CR or CT licensee;

(iii) $100 for manufacturer's licenses, class A, B, or C; and

(iv) $50 for any other licensee.

(2) A licensee operating under an on-premises retailer's license or a manufacturer's license shall not be required to obtain Board approval to sell, serve, or consume alcoholic beverages until 4:00 a.m. and operate 24 hours a day during Inaugural Week.

(f) [Repealed].


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-361, § 2(c)(1), 56 DCR 1204; Sept. 14, 2011, D.C. Law 19-21, § 8142, 58 DCR 6226; Dec. 2, 2011, D.C. Law 19-45, § 2, 58 DCR 8937; Sept. 20, 2012, D.C. Law 19-168, § 2042(a), 59 DCR 8025; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(z), 60 DCR 3410; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-270, § 2(e)(5), 62 DCR 1866; Oct. 8, 2016, D.C. Law 21-160, § 2012, 63 DCR 10775; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(f)(5), 65 DCR 9366; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-168, § 2052, 65 DCR 9388.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-725 and § 25-827.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 17-361, in subsec. (b), substituted “Friday, excluding District and federal holidays” for “Friday” in par. (1) and substituted “Saturday, excluding District and federal holidays” for “Saturday” in par. (2).

D.C. Law 19-21 rewrote subsec. (b)(3), which formerly read:

“(3) 3:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. on Sunday.”

D.C. Law 19-45, in subsec. (b), substituted “§ 25-724 and subsections (c) and (d) of this section” for “§ 25-724”; and added subsec. (d).

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-168 substituted “subsections (c), (d), and (e)” for “subsections (c) and (d)” in the introductory language of (b); substituted “Sunday, excluding” for “on” in (b)(2); deleted former (b)(3), which read: “3:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m. on Sunday”; rewrote (c) and (d); added (e); and made related changes.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 substituted “miniatures as defined in § 25-101(32A)” for “closed miniature containers of alcoholic beverages” in (a); added (d)(4), which stated “This subsection shall expire on September 30, 2013”; and added (f).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-270 deleted “Once each calendar year and” from the beginning of (c)(4).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2052 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-458, Oct. 3, 2018, 65 DCR 11212).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2052 of Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-434, July 30, 2018, 65 DCR 8200).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2 of 2018 All-Star Game and World Cup Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 (D.C. Act 22-362, May 21, 2018, 65 DCR 5955).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2 of Inaugural Celebration Extension of Hours Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-614, December 19, 2008, 56 DCR 40).

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(b) of Inaugural Celebration Extension of Hours Public Safety Emergency Act of 2008 (D.C. Act 17-616, December 19, 2008, 56 DCR 44).

For temporary (90 day) addition, see § 2 of World Cup Extension of Hours Emergency Act of 2010 (D.C. Act 18-433, June 7, 2010, 57 DCR 4958).

For temporary amendment of (a) and (d), and addition of (f), see § 2(z) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary amendment of (e)(1), see § 2 of the Inaugural Hours Emergency Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-614, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1298).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(z) 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).

Short Title

Short title: Section 8141 of D.C. Law 19-21 provided that subtitle O of title VIII of the act may be cited as “Opening Hours Act of 2012”.

Editor's Notes

Section 2043 of D.C. Law 19-168 provided: “Reporting Requirement. Within one year of the effective date of this subtitle, the Mayor shall transmit to the Council a report on the extensions of hours of operation for licensees licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages set forth in D.C. Official Code § 25-723(c), (d), and (e), and the effect of the extensions on liquor store hours, as set forth in the Off-Premises Alcohol Act of 2012, passed on 2nd reading on June 5, 2012 (Enrolled version of Bill 19-743), which shall include:

“(1) The effect of the extensions on local communities;

“(2) An assessment from the Metropolitan Police Department on the number of reported incidents related to the extensions;

“(3) An estimate from the Office of the Chief Financial Officer on the revenue implications of the extensions.”

Former subsection (d) of this section, concerning sales and service of alcoholic beverages on the second Sunday in March between 3:00 a.m. and 4:00 a.m., provided by its own terms that it would expire September 30, 2013.


§ 25–724. Board authorized to further restrict hours of operation.

At the time of initial application or renewal of any class of license, the Board may further limit the hours of sale and delivery for a particular applicant (1) based on the Board’s findings of fact, conclusions of law, and order following a protest hearing, or (2) under the terms of a settlement agreement.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(aa), 60 DCR 3410.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-123 and § 25-723.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 substituted “settlement agreement” for “voluntary agreement”.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of section, see § 2(aa) 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(aa) 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).


§ 25–725. Noise from licensed premises.

(a) The licensee under an on-premises retailer’s license shall not produce any sound, noise, or music of such intensity that it may be heard in any premises other than the licensed establishment by the use of any:

(1) Mechanical device, machine, apparatus, or instrument for amplification of the human voice or any sound or noise;

(2) Bell, horn, gong, whistle, drum, or other noise-making article, instrument, or device; or

(3) Musical instrument.

(b) This section shall not apply to:

(1) Areas in the building which are not part of the licensed establishment;

(2) A building owned by the licensee which abuts the licensed establishment;

(3) Any premises other than the licensed establishment which are located within a C-1, C-2, C-3, C-4, C-M, or M zone, as defined in the zoning regulations for the District;

(4) Sounds, noises, or music occasioned by normal opening of entrance and exit doors for the purpose of ingress and egress; or

(5) Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning devices.

(c) The licensees under this subchapter shall comply with the noise level requirements set forth in Chapter 27 of Title 20 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations.

(d)(1) ABRA shall maintain a complaint program to receive noise complaints by phone, email, and fax. The complaint program shall be staffed by an ABRA employee until at least one hour after the end time for the legal sale of alcoholic beverages as set forth in § 25-723.

(2) ABRA shall keep records regarding noise complaints and record the following information at the time the complaint is made:

(A) The time and date of the complaint;

(B) The name and address of the establishment that is the subject of the complaint;

(C) The name and address of the complainant, if available;

(D) The nature of the noise complaint; and

(E) Whether the complaint was substantiated by ABRA.

(3) Upon receipt of a noise complaint, ABRA shall attempt to contact the establishment by phone or in person and inform the ABC manager on-duty that a noise complaint has been received and describe the nature of the complaint.

(4) ABRA shall notify the licensee of the complaint by e-mail, phone, or registered mail within 72 hours of receiving the complaint. ABRA shall notify the licensee of the results of any investigation that may result in a show cause hearing within 90 days as required by § 25-832.

(e) The windows and doors of an establishment from which noise can be heard shall remain open or closed, as they were at the time the complaint was made, in order for an ABRA investigator or Metropolitan Police Department officer to determine whether a violation of subsection (a) of this section exists. The ABRA investigator shall have the authority to direct that windows and doors be closed or opened.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(bb), 60 DCR 3410.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-123 and § 25-313.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 added (b)(5), (d) and (e); and made related changes.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of (b), and addition of (d) and (e), see § 2(bb) 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(bb) 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).


§ 25–726. Control of litter.

(a) The licensee under a retailer’s license shall take reasonable measures to ensure that the immediate environs of the establishment, including adjacent alleys, sidewalks, or other public property immediately adjacent to the establishment, or other property used by the licensee to conduct its business, are kept free of litter.

(b) A licensee under a retailer's license shall ensure that all solid waste inside the property and in the outdoor spaces immediately surrounding the property are stored and containerized for collection in a manner that will not provide food, harborage, or breeding places for insects or rodents, or other animals, or create a nuisance or fire hazard.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Apr. 7, 2017, D.C. Law 21-260, § 2(f)(3), 64 DCR 2079.)

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-313.