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How to Add Outdoor Service

This warm-weather season, WSLCB's customer service, licensing, and enforcement teams have received questions about outside/extended alcohol service from licensees. In Washington, if you want to add outside seating to your business, prior approval from the Licensing Division is required. 
WAC 314-03-200 outlines all of the requirements for outside seating. You can find the application on the WSLCB website as well. Complete applications should be submitted to liquoralterations@lcb.wa.govliquor.alterations@lcb.wa.gov. WSLCB's customer service specialists will work with licensees to extend alcohol service outside their building. 
outdoor bar space
It takes WSLCB an average of two weeks to complete outside service applications. To help licensees understand and expedite the process, please keep in mind:  
  • To complete an application, WSLCB will need floor plans, a description of the area, and pictures of the outside seating area 
  • The area must be enclosed with a permanent or movable barrier a minimum of forty-two inches high
  • There must be an attendant, wait staff, or server dedicated to the outside service area when patrons are present
  • Licensees must have leasehold rights to the area
  • The area must have an interior access to the licensed premises
  • Openings into and out of the outside area cannot exceed ten feet. If there is more than one opening along one side, the total combined opening may not exceed ten feet.
For more information on this topic, please contact Customer Service at (360) 664-1600, press 1.

Helpful Tips to Stay in Compliance with Special Events

Once licensees have outside seating areas that are approved, people may want to reserve outdoor areas for parties and events.  Here are some tips to keep in mind:
  • Is the event open and advertised to the public by a group renting the space? If so, and they are bringing alcohol themselves, they need a special occasion license and a nonprofit must sell that alcohol. 
  • If the event is private (invitation only), and the group is bringing their own alcohol they will need a banquet permit.
special event stock photo
Note to licensees: If you are supplying the alcohol, then operate as normal with your liquor license.  These rules apply to your indoor premises as well.  

What Retailers Can Learn from the Healthy Youth Survey

Every two years, Washington State agencies conduct the Healthy Youth Survey (HYS), a school-based survey. 
The questionnaire is administered across sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth grades to students, to understand health and behavioral choices and realities that are affecting students’ lives. These data are used to monitor the well-being of youth in Washington, to plan prevention and intervention services throughout communities statewide, to evaluate the effects of programs and policies and to conduct academic research.
Healthy Youth Survey
In short, these survey results act as a barometer for the status of health of Washington youth, and is consulted heavily by school districts, public health officials, community members and even LCB.  A portion of revenue from legal marijuana sales is dedicated to support HYS data collection ($500k annually since FY2016). Results from the 2018 HYS were released this spring. Of most interest to the Liquor and Cannabis Board are the questions that ask about alcohol, marijuana, alcohol, tobacco and vapor and usage. Here are a few highlights:
Both the percentage of students reporting any alcohol use and binge drinking (having 5 or more drinks in a row) declined over the past decade and was relatively stable between 2016 and 2018. 10th grade students who said they had used alcohol in the thirty days went from 32% to 19%. 12th grade 41% to 28% and 8th grade 16% to 8%. 
Well done, retailers!
Of the students who said they had obtained alcohol in the past month, only 7% of those students (8th, 10th. 12th grades) reported buying alcohol from a store. (Though unfortunately, 9% of those 10th graders said their alcohol was stolen from a store)
Still some work to do
The percentage of WA state kids who think that it would be easy to get alcohol increases as they older, from 14% in 6th grade to 56% in 12th grade.
Washington state licencees show diligence in checking identification and using other best practices that prevent minors from purchasing alcohol. It's one of WSLCB's priorities to work with licensees and communities to make sure alcohol is difficult for youth to get inside stores, at restaurants, at festivals and parties, and at home.
Interested in seeing the rest of the Healthy Youth Survey data? Take a look at the full results at AskHYS.net.

Get Ready for Soju!

Soju is a distilled alcoholic beverage, traditionally made from rice, wheat, or barley, and it is an important cultural drink for many Koreans. Starting July 28, 2019, restaurants licensed to sell spirits, beer, and wine in Washington will be able to obtain a soju endorsement from WSLCB.
This endorsement will allow these restaurants to serve soju by the bottle for on-premises consumption to tables of two or more customers over the age of twenty-one. In addition to Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST), staff who serve soju are required to take a WSLCB-provided training curriculum.
Soju
For more information about this curriculum, and how to obtain the soju endorsement in Washington, please visit the WSLCB soju web page.

Thinking About a Snack Bar License?

If licensees would like to apply for a Snack Bar license in Washington State, there are a few requirements to keep in mind.  Snack bars:
  • May only serve beer in bottles or cans to be consumed on-premises.  A premises is defined as a building with four walls and a roof (WAC 314-07-010 (2))
  • Require a designated seating area where beer will be consumed, enclosed with 42” permanent barriers
  • Must serve snack foods whenever beer is served.
snack bar

MAST Permits Get New Look

The Mandatory Alcohol Server Training (MAST) permit form now has a new look.
The new permits are no longer print on a blue marble background, and instead they will be printed on white paper.
Mixologist permit example
Also, all the information will be in black, except the permit numbers will be in red. Please note that current permits are still good until their expiration date.  If you have questions about the redesigned permit, please contact WSLCB at 360-664-1728 or mast@lcb.wa.gov.

Records Reminder

Retail liquor licensees in Washington are responsible to keep records that clearly reflect all financial transactions and the financial condition of the business. You can view this law (Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 314-11-095) online. Records must be maintained for a three-year period and be available for inspection as requested by an employee of the WSLCB for the purposes of enforcing the law (Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 66 and WAC 314).
records in file folders
The following records should be maintained: 
  • Purchase invoices and supporting documents, to include the items and/or services purchased, from whom the items were purchased, and the date of purchase;
  • Bank statements and canceled checks for any accounts relating to the licensed business;
  • Accounting and tax records related to the licensed business and each true party of interest in the liquor license;
  • Records of all financial transactions related to the licensed business, including contracts and/or agreements for services performed or received that relate to the licensed business;
  • Records of all items, services, and moneys' worth furnished to and received by a retailer and of all items, services, and moneys' worth provided to a retailer and purchased by a retailer at fair market value;
  • Records of all industry member financial ownership or interests in a retailer and of all retailer financial ownership interests in an industry member; and
  • Business entertainment records of industry members or their employees who provide either food, beverages, transportation, tickets or admission fees for or at athletic events or for other forms of entertainment to retail licensees and/or their employees.

Alcohol Rules Update

Several rulemakings are underway and are detailed below. As always, we encourage participation in the rulemaking process and value public input. 
Find information about any current rulemaking on the Proposed Rules web page under Laws and Rules on the WSLCB’s website. You can also find additional materials related to rulemaking items brought to Board meetings on the Board’s web page under Board Meeting Schedule and Information.
Acceptable Forms of Identification – Tribal Enrollment Cards
A public hearing regarding proposed revisions to WAC 314-11-025 will be held during the regularly scheduled Board meeting on August 7, 2019. The rule was revised to allow consideration of tribal enrollment cards from federally recognized tribes located outside of Washington as acceptable forms of identification.
Revisions include the process for tribes to request approval and updates to ensure the rule language is clear. 
Group at event
2019 Legislation – Substitute House Bill (SHB) 1034, House Bill (HB) 1672, and Senate Bill (SB) 5909
A CR-101 was issued on May 29, 2019 to implement legislation that passed during the 2019 legislative session. SHB 1034 created an endorsement that allows spirits, beer, and wine restaurants to serve soju for on-premises consumption to tables of two or more patrons. The bill allows the restaurant to recap soju bottles and patrons to remove recapped soju from the premises. HB 1672 allows spirits, beer, and wine restaurants and beer and wine restaurants to recap sake purchased for consumption with a meal. The bill allows patrons to remove recapped sake from the premises. SB 5909 allows manufacturers licensed under RCW 66.24.150 to contract with distilleries, breweries, and wineries to provide packaging services. Revisions will be made to WAC 314-02-015, WAC 314-02-045 and chapter 314-30 WAC to implement this legislation.
2019 Legislation – Engrossed House Bill (EHB) 1563
A CR-101 was issued on May 29, 2019 to implement EHB 1563 that passed during the 2019 legislative session. EHB 1563 permits students to taste alcoholic beverages while on the premises of the college or university at which the student is enrolled or while on a field trip to a grape-growing area or production facility. Chapter 314-38 WAC will be amended to implement this legislation. The chapter also needs reviewed to update language and ensure language is clear.
Barriers
A CR-101 was issued on August 8, 2018 to initiate the rulemaking process. Rules are being reviewed to revise and update requirements for barriers and designation of areas where minors are not allowed in liquor licensed establishments. Revisions will also update and clarify rules language.
Special Occasion Licenses – Rules Review
A CR-101 was issued on January 23, 2019 to initiate the rulemaking process. Revisions will update and clarify application requirements and rules language.
Breweries and Wineries
A CR-101 was issued on February 21, 2018, to initiate the rulemaking process to update and provide clarification for brewery and winery rules. The rulemaking will also address alternating proprietorships, bulk storage of wine, and internet sales. Rules are currently being revised.
Spirits Distributor Licensing Fees
A CR-101 was issued on March 21, 2018, to initiate the rulemaking process. Rulemaking will ensure the rules are compliant with any applicable RCW.  Rules are needed to address the requirement in statute that retailers pay distributor fees on sales of spirits for resale when no prior distributor fee has been paid on the product.
How can you participate in the rulemaking process?
Check out our Proposed Rules web page under Laws and Rules on the WLSCB’s website and submit comments to rules@lcb.wa.gov. All rulemaking activity occurs at Board meetings. You can access Board agendas and meeting materials at the Board’s web page: Board Meeting Schedule and Information.

2019 Legislative Fact Sheets Available Now

We've recently posted fact sheets for legislation pertaining to alcohol and cannabis that passed this session. You can download PDFs with information about the following bills (and more): 
Find all of these brief documents and contact information on the WSLCB website

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WSLCB Mission: 

Promote public safety and trust through fair administration and enforcement of liquor, cannabis, tobacco, and vapor laws.