Organization | Education | Licensing
In direct response to public demand for stricter enforcement of the laws concerning the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages in East
Baton Rouge Parish, the Metropolitan Council created the Office of Alcoholic Beverage
Control (ABC) in 1981. The Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control licenses and regulates all
businesses and individuals in East Baton Rouge Parish who sell, serve or dispense
alcoholic beverages. The ABC Office has continued to respond to those concerns, and is
also committed to helping solve the problems associated with underage persons acquiring
and consuming alcoholic beverages. Over the last 32 years, the ABC Office has grown to
meet the needs of a growing community.
The ABC Office consists of a licensing division, an
investigation/enforcement division, and a board comprising nine members. Members of the
ABC board are appointed from the public at large by the Metropolitan Council and serve
two-year terms. The ABC Board meets bi-monthly to conduct hearings for businesses and
individuals charged with violations of the Wine, Beer and Liquor Ordinance, review license
applications, and discuss matters concerning the enforcement of the local alcohol laws.
The ABC office is also committed to education. All persons
involved in the business of dealing in alcohol are required to attend a Responsible
Vendor/Server Training class taught by ABC Enforcement Agents before being issued a license.
The ABC Licensing Division includes two sections: Employee
Licenses and Business Licenses. Applications for these licenses are taken Monday through
Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. All license applicants are subject to criminal record
checks and must also attend the Responsible Vendor/Server Training class before their licenses are issued.
Employee licenses are issued to all employees of Class A licensed businesses (classified employees)
and Class B licensed businesses (retail clerks). The ABC office processes and issues more
than 8,000 employee licenses each year. The fee for these licenses is $30. each. When
applying for a retail clerk license, a current government-issued, pictured
identification card must be presented. The only acceptable I.D. cards are: a Louisiana
driver's license, Louisiana I.D. card. Classified employee licenses have a two-year expiration date, and retail clerk
licenses expire upon termination of their employment at the business listed on their
license. In addition to the $30. license fee, a fee of $20. will be charged for
all applicants attending the Responsible Vendor/Server Training class.
Business Licenses are issued to all wholesale and retail businesses in East Baton Rouge Parish,
except those businesses located within the city limits of Baker or Zachary. Class A
Licenses are issued to those businesses that sell or serve alcohol for consumption on
the premises. Class B Licenses are issued to those businesses that sell packaged alcohol
for consumption off the licensed premises. Class C Licenses are issued to wholesale
distributors. The criteria for licensing a business to sell alcoholic beverages are set
forth in the Wine, Beer, and Liquor Ordinance. Applicants for Business Licenses who also
plan to work in the business are required to attend the same Responsible Vendor/Server Training
class, as their employees. Business Licenses are renewed on an annual basis. License fees
Class A Liquor
$500. + $5. permit fee. Class A Beer: $90.
Class B Liquor
$500. + $5. permit fee. Class B Beer: $75.
Class C Liquor
$500. + $5. permit fee. Class C Beer: $120.
All Restaurants that hold a Class A Alcohol License must apply for a Class R (restaurant)
Permit. The fee for this permit is $105, renewable on an annual basis. Those restaurants
that wish to remain open for the sale of food only after 2:30 a.m. may apply for a
Class RAH (restaurant after hours) Permit. The fee for this permit is $60., renewable on an
annual basis. The business license section also issues special event permits to businesses
and organizations for $360. for wine, beer, and liquor, or $120. for beer only, per event.
Special Event Permits are also issued to charitable, non-profit organizations at no cost.
More information can be found by viewing the Business License Information Sheet.
In an effort to maintain compliance with the laws, all
businesses are routinely inspected by ABC investigators. All complaints are investigated,
and citations are issued for violations. The enforcement division routinely conducts
undercover "sting" investigations of businesses suspected of selling to minors.
This is done with the assistance of an underage person who enters a business, accompanied
by an undercover agent, and attempts to purchase an alcoholic beverage. The penalties for
failure to check for identification can be severe. All violations are heard by the ABC
Board, which has the authority to warn, fine and/or suspend the license of any business or
individual, depending on the severity of the violation.
One accomplishment of the ABC office
has been the creation, in 1993, of the Juvenile and Underage Drinking Enforcement (JUDE)
Task Force. This task force targets underage persons who are caught violating alcohol
laws. The JUDE Task Force has become a vital component of the ABC offices efforts to
curb the sale to, and possession by, underage persons of alcoholic beverages. The success
of JUDE is due mainly to the commitment and participation of several agencies, forming a
partnership, working to identify and solve these problems. This program is special in
It is made up of enforcement
officers from the ABC Office, Sheriff's Office, and Baton Rouge Police Department, who
work together to enforce the liquor laws on a regular basis, at night and on weekends.
It also works in conjunction with existing "zero tolerance" laws that provide for mandatory suspensions of alcohol
licenses by the ABC Board, when the businesses are found guilty of selling to minors.
It then incorporates an education component sponsored by I-CARE and Juvenile Court, which offers an alternative to court by
attending an alcohol awareness program taught by I-CARE instructors. (I-CARE is the alcohol and drug education
division of the East Baton Rouge Parish school system.)
In addition to the support of local and state officials, JUDE has also become an award winning and nationally recognized
program. In September 1996, the JUDE Task Force received the award for Innovative Program
of the Year from the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association. This was one of only
three annual awards given by this organization. The NLLEA is made up of 38 states, and
also includes the District of Columbia, Canada, and Newfoundland. On June 11, 1997, the ABC Office was notified by the
National Alcohol Beverage Control Association that the JUDE program had been selected as
one of 23 "Best Practices" in a national review of more than 170 programs. This
review was a two-year project conducted by the NABCA, and funded through a grant from the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The JUDE program will be published in a "Best Practices" handbook, available from the NABCA in
The ABC Office has been a member and
active participant of the Mayor Presidents Anti-Drug Task Force and Community
Partnership Coalition in East Baton Rouge Parish since its inception in 1989. The office
has also been an active participant with representatives of various state, regional, and
local agencies and organizations in efforts to form a Louisiana Coalition for Reducing