Serving It RightServing It Right

BC’s Responsible Beverage Service Program

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Alcohol and the Law


The Sale and Service of Liquor

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You may only serve liquor during the hours listed on the licence or authorization.


You must ensure that all patrons leave your liquor-primary establishment (bars) within 30 minutes of completing the liquor service, and you may not allow patrons to enter outside of the permitted hours for liquor service.


You must remove liquor, drinks and glassware in food primary establishments or at catered events within 30 minutes of the end of liquor service.


Dispensing liquor

You are permitted to pre-mix drinks by hand or by using such a device as a Bellini machine provided the liquor comes from the original containers purchased from the Liquor Distribution Branch.


Consumption of liquor

Licensees and employees must not consume liquor while working at a licensed establishment or event.


You must ensure that only liquor purchased in your liquor-primary or food-primary establishment or catered event is consumed there. The only exception is 'Bring Your Own Wine' in food primary establishments, for which the restaurant may charge a corkage fee. Liquor must not be consumed within a licensee retail store.


You must be present at a catered event when liquor is consumed (no liquor drop-off is permitted).

Public safety


You must not exceed number of people stated on your establishment's liquor licence or catering authorization or occupant load for the venue.


Minors (anyone under the age of 19)

You may not sell or give liquor to minors and you must check your liquor licence as to whether minors are allowed to be on premises where liquor is sold. Minors may be allowed at catered events (will be noted on the catering authorization).

If a licensee permits minors in a liquor primary (either with or without a parent or guardian), minors may be employed in the establishment during the hours minors are permitted as patrons; however, they may not be employed to sell or serve liquor. Minors can also be employed as entertainers.

Minors employed in food-primary establishments, or liquor-primary stadiums who are 16 or older may serve liquor but may not open bottles, pour or mix liquor. You must have adult staff supervising minors serving liquor. Minors may work at an event but may not serve liquor (may not have liquor in their possession).

Two pieces of ID are required in BC for anyone who appears to be a minor.


Intoxicated People

You must not sell or give liquor to an intoxicated person.


You must not allow a person to become intoxicated or allow an intoxicated person to remain in a licensed establishment.


You must forbid entry to anyone who is intoxicated or who you think will cause trouble.


You must not allow troublemakers to re-enter the establishment within 24 hours of being asked to leave.