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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.


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

RAMW Weighs in on proposed Corkage Law in Virginia

February 9, 2011
Corkage Law Passes In Virginia House78-18…With A Nudge From RAMW February 22, 2011- With the passage in the Virginia House ofDelegates, SB1292, aka The Corkage Bill, will now go to the Governor’s officefor final signature. There is every indication that the Governor will sign thisBill. Corkage, which is common in many jurisdictions across the country including theDistrict of Columbia, will allow restaurants the choice of offering corkageservice to their patrons. This optional service will allow patrons to bringwine into an ABC licensed establishment for consumption on the...Read more

Extended Inauguration Hours (DC)

October 15, 2009
Former RAMW Chair (2007-9) Paul Cohn testifies in front of the DC Committee on Finance and Revenue and details how extending restaurant service hours during President Obama’s inauguration benefited the DC restaurant industry. Date: Feb 2009. Issue Status : Stemming from the success of the Inauguration, for 2009 ABRA is allowing on-premise ABC licensees to remainopen one extra hour and serve alcoholic beverages the night before DCand federal holidays. PDF File...Read more

DC Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA)

October 15, 2009
RAMW President Lynne Breaux testifies in front of the DC Committee on Public Works and Transportation in support of Fred Moosally’s appointment as new ABRA director. Date: June 2009. Issue Status : Mr. Moosally was confirmed as ABRA director in July 2009. PDF File RAMW President Lynne Breaux testifies at a public hearing on the Alcoholic Beverage Enforcement Act of 2008, outlining the excessive fees and culture of over-regulation persistent within ABRA. Date: Nov 2008. Issue Status : The 2008 Act passed and went into effect March 2009, butwith several positive changes, such as allowing...Read more

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