Things You Must Know

Permitting Drunkenness/Violent & Disorderly Conduct




"The licence holder shall not permit drunkenness, unlawful gambling or riotous, quarrelsome, violent or disorderly conduct to occur on the premises or in the adjacent washrooms, liquor and food preparation areas and storage areas under the exclusive control of the licence holder."
Reg.719,Section. 45, 45.1, 45.2, 46.

  • Guests who are drunk, violent, aggressive or out-of-control are not allowed on the premises.

  • Noisy patrons gathering outside an establishment after closing time should be politely dispersed.

  • Line-ups to get into licensed establishments must be properly monitored and secured.

  • Depending on the type of premises and patrons, all entrances should be properly supervised.

  • Patrons should always be sufficiently monitored to ensure that no improper activities are taking place.





…"the number of persons on the premises to which the licence applies, including employees of the licence holder, does not exceed the capacity of the licensed premises as stated on the licence.."
Reg.719, Section 43.

  • Every licensed establishment is issued a maximum capacity, which it cannot exceed.

  • The licensee must ensure that the number of guests and employees does not go above the maximum limit on the licensed premises.

  • Tips and techniques for controlling your door:

    • Assign at least two experienced staff when the door is busy.

    • Count the number of people entering and leaving the premises. Account for staff in your totals.

    • Set up a separate area where IDs can be checked.

Selling Liquor to Visibly Intoxicated persons




"No person shall sell or supply liquor or permit liquor to be sold or supplied to any person who is or appears to be intoxicated."
R.S.O. 1990, c. L.19, s. 29.


Licencees must not serve patrons displaying signs of intoxication, such as:

  • Inappropriate speech volume

  • Shallow breathing

  • Glazed look in eyes

  • Difficulty seeing and hearing

Permitting Drugs




"The licence holder shall not permit a person to hold, offer for sale, sell, distribute or consume a controlled substance as defined in the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) on the premises or in the adjacent washrooms, liquor and food preparation areas and storage areas under the exclusive control of the licence..."
Reg.719, Section 45, (2)


Take steps to discourage the presence of illegal drugs:

  • Proper lighting to avoid dark corners/areas.

  • Make all tables visible to staff and other patrons.

  • Place Security in areas of concern (bathroom entrance, side stage, doors, entries and exits).

  • Refuse entry/service to anyone suspected of participating in the sale or use of illegal drugs on the licensed premises areas.

Service outside of prescribed hours/Failure to Clear Signs of Service




"Except for December 31, liquor may be sold and served only between 11 a.m. on any day and 2 a.m. on the following day..."
Reg.719, Sections 25, 29.

  • Orders for alcohol must be served before the stop service time. For example, in a licensed establishment, you cannot serve drinks after 2:00 a.m., even if you took the order at 1:55 a.m. (except on New Year's Eve).

  • All alcohol and its containers (including empty glasses and bottles) must be cleared away within 45 minutes of the stop-service time.

Illegal Liquor on Premises




"The licence holder shall not permit liquor, other than liquor purchased by the licence holder under licence from a government store, to be brought onto the premises to which the licence applies or that are used in connection with the sale and service of liquor, including the liquor and food preparation area and storage areas."
Reg.719, Section 33.

  • You cannot offer liquor for sale and service that is not purchased under YOUR licence from an Ontario government store.

  • Examples of illegal liquor include: smuggled liquor, home made liquor, adulterated or 'watered down' liquor, any liquor brought onto the premises by a customer or anyone else, any liquor purchased from a government store but not under your licence, personal bottles or liquor legally imported to Canada.

Allowing Removal of Liquor from Premises




"The licence holder shall not permit a patron to remove liquor from the premises to which the licence applies"
Reg.719, Section 34.

  • The only time alcohol can be removed from a licensed area is when the establishment has applied for and been granted a Limited Licensing of Washrooms, Hallways and Stairwells and Other Similar Areas (WHS Policy).

  • This policy allows customers to have alcoholic beverages in washrooms, hallways and stairwells of licensed establishments. To qualify, the limited licensed area must be fully approved by the AGCO before a licensee may permit alcohol to be taken into these areas by guests.

Obstructing Inspection




..."No person shall obstruct a person carrying out an inspection under this Act or withhold, destroy, conceal or refuse to provide any relevant information or thing required for the purpose of the inspection..."
Reg.719, Sections 44, (2)

  • All staff must have a clear understanding that they are not allowed to deny entry to AGCO Inspectors, Health Inspectors, Law Enforcement Officers and Firefighters, acting in the course of their duties. during or after hours of operation.

Serving Minors/Failure to Check ID




..."before liquor is sold or served to a person apparently under the age of nineteen years, an item of identification of the person is inspected."
Reg.719,Sections 41, 42

  • ID should be checked at the door, bar or at the table. In some establishments the policy is to check ID at the door and table to make sure someone wasn't missed.

  • Steps to checking age identification:

    • Ask the guest to remove ID from their wallet

    • Examine the ID in a well-lit area

    • Hold the ID in your own hands to see or feel if any changes have been made

Failure to Post Signage




..."No person shall sell or supply liquor or offer to sell or supply liquor from a prescribed premises unless,
(a) the premises prominently displays a warning sign containing the prescribed information that cautions women who are pregnant that the consumption of alcohol during pregnancy is the cause of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder..."
R.S.O. 1990, L.19,. Sections 30.1, 30.2

  • Sandy's Law is an amendment to the Liquor Licence Act that makes it an offence to sell or supply liquor unless a sign is displayed warning women that drinking alcohol during pregnancy can cause Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).