ABC Enforcement Information

Division of Emergency Services

The investigators in ABC's Enforcement Division are vested by Kentucky law with full police powers to enforce all Kentucky statutes and Louisville ordinances. ABC Investigators are located throughout Louisville Metro to maximize their special emphasis on the enforcement of Louisville Metro's Specialties License & Permits ordinances. Metro ABC Investigators also work closely with the Metro ABC Licensing Division staff to promote awareness of alcohol and tobacco laws in Kentucky to prevent the use of alcohol and tobacco products by minors. 

Late Night Safety Plan
Late Night Safety Plan

Contact Metro ABC Enforcement

To report a complaint, call (502) 574-5000 or 311 or click here for Accela CRM Portal.

 

ABC Director Brad Silveria,  ABC Administrator for Louisville/Jefferson County, KY

Chief R.T. WatkinsABC Enforcement Investigator Manager

Lt. Markhel HargroveABC Enforcement Investigator Supervisor

Contact ABC via email at [email protected]

 

Metro ABC Law Compliance Guidelines (F.A.Q. Guide)

  • Do not traffic alcoholic beverages unless you hold a license from Louisville AND Kentucky. If you are in a suburban city like Shively, St. Matthews, or Jeffersontown, they have their own ABC Licenses.
  • You may not give alcoholic beverages away without a license. 
  • You may not accept a donation for alcoholic beverages without a license.
  • You may not (BYOB) bring your own alcoholic beverages to a public place. 
  • Post your alcohol license(s) in a conspicuous place at your business.
  • Do not transfer your license without approval from the ABC.
  • Do not permit anyone to operate your business using your license.
  • Keep your alcohol-related business records for two years on the premises and readily available.
  • Display the ABC signs, as well as the surgeon general's warning, on your premises that warn minors of the dangers of alcohol related to pregnancy.
  • If the retail package licensee or a retail drink licensee does not qualify as a restaurant, hotel, or other exempt classification, display the ABC sign reminding persons under 21 that they may not remain on-premises.
  • Accept cash, checks, or nationally recognized credit cards, i.e., VISA, MasterCard, etc., in payment for all alcoholic beverages.
  • Do not extend personal credit or give away any alcoholic beverages to customers.
  • Do not permit anyone to bring his or her own alcoholic beverages into your place of business.
  • Do not allow the licensed premises to become disorderly.
  • Do not sell alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age.
  • Do not sell or give alcoholic beverages to anyone who is intoxicated or permit anyone to become intoxicated.
  • Do not deliver alcoholic beverages if you are a retail licensee. Certain package licensees may deliver
  • Do not employ a person convicted of a felony or with two or more alcohol-related convictions within two years.
  • If beer is sold for consumption off of the licensed premises, an 18 or 19-year-old may be employed as long as the employee is under the direct supervision of someone at least 20 years of age.
  • If alcoholic beverages are sold in a liquor package store or by the drink, employees must be at least 20 years of age.
  • If an establishment holds a retail liquor drink license, one must obtain a supplemental liquor license for each additional public bar in operation.
  • Do not sell alcohol during the 24 hours of Sunday, unless you possess a Sunday license. 
  • Retailers must purchase all alcoholic beverages from a licensed wholesaler or licensed distributor who is licensed to sell in Kentucky.
  • Gambling is permitted on alcoholic beverage licensed premises under the following conditions:
    • When a charitable organization licensed by the Office of Charitable Gaming conducts an authorized gaming event.
    • The operation of a parimutuel system for betting where authorized by statute.
    • Games authorized by the Kentucky Lottery Corporation.

 

ABC Enforcement Programs

The ABC Enforcement Division utilizes many different programs as they combat underage drinking and enforce the laws of Kentucky regarding alcohol sales. Below are programs that have proven successful in enforcing and raising the rate of compliance :
 

Be the One

Be the One is an unprecedented and innovative substance abuse prevention education program where Enforcement Investigators take time to teach students throughout the city good decision-making skills to help them lead safe and healthy lives.

Cops In Shops 

This highly successful program enjoys the full support of convenience and package store owners who check IDs to prevent the sale of alcoholic beverages to minors. The owners notify the ABC when minors try to buy alcohol from them. Undercover ABC investigators enter the stores and pose as employees or customers. Minors who attempt to purchase alcoholic beverages are cited to District or juvenile court. Adults who attempt to buy alcohol for minors are arrested or cited to criminal court.

Operation Zero Tolerance 

Enforcement efforts in this program are directed toward the owners and employees of businesses licensed to sell alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth that may be carelessly or intentionally selling alcohol to minors. Volunteer investigative aides who are 18 and 19 years of age assist undercover ABC investigators in apprehending violators by attempting to purchase alcoholic beverages.

Become an Investigative Aide 

The Investigative Aide (IA) Program is one way the ABC is combating the sale of tobacco and alcoholic beverages to underage youth. The program is not used to deceive store or restaurant owners and their employees. The ABC uses young people throughout Kentucky to assist their investigators in compliance checks statewide. All applicants must look within the age range of the program in which they are working.

This program is not to be considered a part-time or full-time job. Under state classification, the IA position is considered seasonal work. 

Compliance checks are conducted monthly without a set schedule. IA's may work with certain investigators for one month, but due to scheduling conflicts may not work with the same investigators again for several months. ABC investigators are flexible in working with after-school jobs and after-school activities. 

All applications must include the following information:

  • The applicant's signature.
  • A parent or guardian's signature (if applicants are under 18 years of age).
  • A copy of the applicant's birth certificate.
  • A recent, high-quality photograph of yourself. Digital photos are acceptable.

Investigative aide program requirements:

  • Tobacco IAs must be 16 to 17 years of age.
  • Alcohol IAs must be 18 to 20 years of age. Under 18 must have a parent's permission and will be accompanied by two ABC detectives at all times. 
  • A background check will be conducted on all alcohol IA applicants.
  • All IA applicants must look within the age range of the program in which they are working.
  • The dress code is simple; dress like a typical teenager. Do not dress up.  T-shirts (with your high school name or class t-shirt), jeans, shorts, sweatshirts, or sweaters are recommended.
  • Those who prefer to wear makeup should choose a toned-down look. An IA should not look older than their actual age.
     

S.T.A.R. (Server Training in Alcohol Regulations) (click here)

 

Server Training in Alcohol Regulations (S.T.A.R.) is a responsible beverage server training course developed by the Kentucky State Alcoholic Beverage Control.

Details:

  • S.T.A.R. is Kentucky-specific regarding alcohol laws
  • S.T.A.R. is accepted statewide
  • The course is $35 per person
  • Certification is valid for three years
  • The class is four hours
  • Classes/materials are available in Spanish
  • Private classes are available for groups of 15 or more
  • Be aware that registrants of S.T.A.R. will now be reminded of their class time via e-mail. It is important to provide this office with an accurate e-mail address.

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