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Regulatory Enforcement on Point in 2023

Is pandemic-style alcohol consumption here to stay? An article from Grocery Dive suggests this might be our new world order despite chart-topping inflation and supply chain woes. Adding to the disarray are labor shortages, downsized menus and price increases, all which put retail outlets, bars and restaurants on edge.


Increased consumption of pre-mixed and ready-to-drink cocktail options confirm one thing remains certain post-pandemic and that is imbibing at home. So, while consumers flock to liquor, grocer and c-stores to obtain beverages of choice, it’s important to stress compliance with local, state and federal laws among your employees to avoid costly enforcement stings.


A quick look at numbers show states are actively pursuing enforcement efforts:

  • During the first two months of this year, the State of Michigan reported 285 alcohol violations.1
  • In Illinois, compliance reports from early March show one in five establishments in Chicago failed inspection; 2 while nearly half of businesses in Champagne were cited for violations. 3
  • Arizona reports nearly 30 violations since the start of 2023.4
  • In early March, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) wrote 130 citations in a series of sting operations.5


At The BARS Program, we believe one of the best ways to safeguard your business from evolving laws and alcohol-serving mishaps, is to instate an ID under 35 policy. A policy such as this simply means your servers, bartenders and checkers ask for proof of identification from any patron they suspect is under the age of 35. It upholds a positive, non-offensive customer experience and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. 


If not a practice already, consider adding an ID under 35 policy to your lineup of compliance strategy. The BARS Program can help. Call 1-877-540-5500 or visit to learn more.


1 Michigan Licensing and Regulatory Affairs; 2023 Violation Reports

2 Illinois Liquor Control Commission, 03/10/2023; Liquor Control Commission Underage Compliance Report for Cook County

3 Illinois Liquor Control Commission, 03/08/2023; Liquor Control Commission Underage Compliance Report for Champaign County

4 Arizona Department of Liquor, 03/19/2023: Violations Date Range Search

5 California Statewide Law Enforcement Association, 03/14/2023; ABC Agents Conduct 2023 Statewide Shoulder Tap Operation Targeting Underage Drinking

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