Compromise Process for Resolving ABC Administrative Violations Lacks Policies and Procedures, Rationale, and Transparency, Resulting in Disproportionate Penalties (March 2020)

The Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) Commission sets and enforces administrative penalties for alcohol-related violations to reduce potentially dangerous behavior and ensure compliance with state regulations. Recent changes to the administrative penalty structure and the severity of penalties provides an opportunity to examine how well the Commission is accomplishing these goals. The Program Evaluation Division found that administrative penalties are not proportional, lacking policies, procedures, and guidelines that would limit variance and subjectivity. The General Assembly should consider requiring the Commission to set guidelines that ensure penalties are proportional to offenses, increase transparency for permittees, and establish performance management criteria.

Final Report

Report Highlights


Mandatory Evaluation Components



Relevant Legislation:

  • H1082 – An act directing the ABC Commission to (i) create a policy that establishes a rationale for administrative penalties and improves transparency for permittees and (ii) include criteria on its web site to evaluate the effectiveness of administrative penalties at reducing the number of repeat offenders. This legislation was not enacted.