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Alcoholic Beverage Control

Alcohol service is a huge and positive part of the full service restaurant business. It is also a huge responsibility. Virginia, DC and Maryland each have its own laws and regulations governing the distribution and sale of alcoholic beverages. But what is the same across state lines is the ever changing regulatory landscape.

From new ABC laws to enforcement initiatives, RAMW is an advocate for fair and reasonable legislation and is your resource for information on the alcoholic beverage regulations that affect your business.


The Bar Bystander Campaign

November 20, 2013
What would you do if someone who had been drinking excessively picked up their car keys and headed for the door? If you are a good bystander, you would intervene to help the person get home safely without risking injury to self or others. Cities and states, colleges and branches of the military are using that same bystander approach to prevent sexual assault: teaching professionals and friends how to offer assistance and intervene to prevent alcohol-facilitated sexual assault. In Arlington County, police are seeing an increase in reports of alcohol-facilitated sexual assaults of young...

ABC Board Overhauls Alcoholic Beverage Warning Sign

November 18, 2013
The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board issued on August 28, 2013 a new alcoholic beverage warning sign. The new warning sign must be posted by licensees at their establishments in a conspicuous place no later than Wednesday, November 27, 2013. The new sign provides several benefits to the public and licensees. Specifically, it allows the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) to address several warnings and requirements for consuming alcoholic beverages in one sign thereby reducing the number of signs an establishment is required to have posted. Licensees can pick up the new...Read more

Virginia's ABC Cracking Down on Wine Tastings, Dinners

October 21, 2013
Rebecca Cooper , Washington Business Journal The Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has stepped up enforcement of a law that limits wine tastings and wine dinners at restaurants that serve wine on site, surprising many restaurateurs who have been offering them for years. The law prohibits wine wholesalers and distributors from participating in tasting events held in restaurants. Winemakers or winery representatives are allowed to participate in these types of events, and the law does not prevent wholesalers from offering tastings at shops that do not serve on premises. Read...

Addressing ABC Issues Key to Regulatory Reform in Virginia

October 17, 2013
RAMW met with its Virginia members and state officials and legislators on October 10th at Clyde's of Tysons to discuss the myriad issues facing Northern Virginia restaurants. The meeting was very productive and provided an opportunity to dive into debates around restaurant operations, workforce development and taxes. Alcohol and ABC issues took center stage with operators citing challenges with the alcohol transfer process of wine and beer between locations. They also discussed at length, problems with the ABC permitting process. As a result of this dialogue, Delegate Albo recommended...

ABRA Update: ABC Board Overhauls Alcoholic Beverage Warning Sign

August 28, 2013
August 28, 2013 (Washington, DC) - In a press release distributed this morning, the District's Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA) unveiled a new alcoholic beverage warning sign that will be posted in approximately 1,800 ABC licensed establishments in the District. Licensees are required to post the new sign in a conspicuous place on the licensed premises by Wednesday, Nov. 27. The new sign allows ABRA to address several warnings and requirements for consuming alcoholic beverages in one posted notice and will also reduce the number of notices an ABC establishment is...Read more

RAMW Commends Council on Extended Hours Vote

May 14, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Betsy Allman, Policy Advisor 202.331.5990 or betsy@ramw.org Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Commends D.C. Council for Taking Critical First Step Toward a Vibrant World-Class City in Approving an Initial Partial Extension in Alcohol Service Hours WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 15, 2012) – The D.C. Council this afternoon took a historic first step in voting preliminary approval of a partial and modest one-hour extension in the maximum allowable alcohol service period at the city’s restaurants, bars and hotels. The Council, in a voice vote,...Read more

RAMW Backs Mayor's Budget Proposal to Extend Alcohol Service Hours

April 16, 2012
RAMW Backs Mayor’s Budget Proposal to Extend Alcohol Service Hours in Testimony Provided DC Council Committee Three years ago, between January 17 and 21, 2009, the nation’s capital hosted an unprecedented number of visitors for the inauguration of President Barack Obama. Also unprecedented was the emergency legislationapproved by the D.C. Council allowing for extended alcoholic beverage service hours at the city’s restaurants, bars, nightclubs and hotels. More than 280 alcohol-licensed establishments chose to participate during this extraordinary five-day hospitality period...Read more

Sunday 8am Alcoholic Beverage Service Now Legal

December 1, 2011
Sunday 8amAlcoholic Beverage Service Now Legal Duein large part to RAMW’s efforts, on-premise licensees are now allowed to servealcoholic beverages on Sundays beginning at 8:00am if approved by The ABCBoard. Forthose that are eligible, the application to file a change of hours is on lineat www.abra.dc.gov and THERE IS NO APPLICATION FEE . Clickhere to see full letter from ABRA for details...Read more

Sunday 8am Alcoholic Beverage Service Now Legal

September 20, 2011
Due in largepart to RAMW’s efforts, on-premise licensees are now allowed to serve alcoholicbeverages on Sundays beginning at 8:00am if approved by The ABC Board. Forthose that are eligible, the application to file a change of hours is on lineat www.abra.dc.gov and THERE IS NO APPLICATION FEE . Clickhere to see full letter from ABRA for details...Read more

ABRA Import Permit Inspections Ramped Up

April 15, 2011
ABRA has stepped up inspections and enforcement of the regulations requiring import permits. A violation will likely result in a $2,000 fine, and possibly a suspension of your license. As an ABC licensee in the District, it is your responsibility to assure that the alcoholic beverages served in your business are purchased either from D.C. licensed wholesalers, or have been brought into the District and delivered to you under an import permit issued by ABRA. IT IS NOT THE OUT OF STATE WHOLESALER’S RESPONSIBILITY TO PROCURE THE IMPORT PERMIT, it is yours. An Import permit is required for...Read more

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