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(1) All licensees, their agents, and employees must conduct the licensed premises in compliance with the rules of other state and local agencies and abide by all:

(a) provisions of the laws of Montana and the United States related to alcoholic beverages;

(b) county and city or town ordinances related to alcoholic beverages;

(c) Indian liquor laws applicable within the areas of Indian country, as defined by 18 USC 1151, provided a tribe having jurisdiction over such area of Indian country adopted an ordinance, certified by the Secretary of the Interior, and published in the Federal Register; and

(d) rules of the department relating to alcoholic beverages.

(2) Proof of violation by a licensee or the licensee's agent or employee of any of the provisions of the above laws, ordinances, or rules is sufficient grounds for revocation or suspension of the license, and licensees may be reprimanded or assessed a civil penalty in accordance with 16-4-406, MCA.

(3) The department will impose progressive penalties for multiple violations of any laws, ordinances and rules within any three-year period unless mitigating circumstances indicate the penalty should be reduced, or aggravating circumstances indicate the penalty should be increased. Violations and progressive penalties include, but are not limited to, those listed on the following chart. Any combination of four of the violations listed below occurring within a three-year period could result in a license revocation action.


Violation 1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense 4th Offense
Sale to an Underage Person $250 $1000 $1500/20-day Suspension Revocation
Sale to an Intoxicated Person $250 $1000 $1500/20-day Suspension Revocation
Open after Hours $150 $600 $1000/12-day Suspension Revocation
Sale after Hours $150 $600 $1000/12-day Suspension Revocation
Re-pouring $250 $1000 $1500/20-day Suspension Revocation
Denial of Right to Inspect $150 $600 $1000/12-day Suspension Revocation
No Approval to Alter $300 $600 $1000/12-day Suspension Revocation
No Management Agreement $150 $600 $1000/12-day Suspension Revocation
Improper use of Catering Endorsement $150 $600 $1000/12-day Suspension Revocation
Accept more than 7 Days credit $250 $1000 $1500/20-day Suspension Revocation
Extend more than 7 Days Credit $250 $1000 $1500/20-day Suspension Revocation


Licensee or
employee without
valid alcohol sales
and service training
Penalty for violations of this type as specified by (7)
and by statute. Revocation for fourth violation.
Ownership Interest
Fine, Suspension or Revocation
90-Day Nonuse
Without Approval

(4) The department will not consider reinstatement of a revoked license for one year from the date of revocation. In every case, reinstatement will only be allowed if:

(a) the licensee demonstrates to the department that the licensee has taken steps to insure the causes of the license revocation will be prevented from occurring in the future; and

(b) a license is available under the quota.

(5) A revoked license will affect a license quota area and the following may result:

(a) if it causes the area to be under quota, a notice of availability of a license will be published in the newspaper of general circulation in the quota area and invite applications for the available license; or

(b) if the area is over quota the revoked license will cease to be available for issuance.

(6) A revoked beer or beer and wine license issued within a city quota area before October 1997, if reinstated will not allow any gaming or gambling activity on the licensed premises.

(7) A penalty for a licensee or licensee's employee not having a valid alcohol server training certificate shall be assessed against the licensee for whom the employee works at the time of the violation. The penalty for this violation is imposed against the licensee, and the licensee having multiple untrained employees on a particular date shall not be considered multiple violations; however, continued noncompliance on a future date may be considered as an additional violation of the server training requirement. The penalty shall be assessed in addition to any penalty for other Montana alcoholic beverage code violations such as sales to underage persons and/or sales to intoxicated persons, and the violation will be considered a separate violation by the department. Penalties for not having valid alcohol server training certificates may be taken into account based on the mitigating factors described in (8) when determining a licensee's total number of violations in a three-year period for purposes of the progressive penalty schedule in (3). However, the monetary penalty for each server training certificate violation shall be $50 for a first offense, $200 for a second offense, and $350 for a third offense in a three-year period.

(a) Example: If a licensee has one previous violation for sale after hours, and later violates the training certificate provision, the licensee will be penalized $50 for the training certificate violation, although the violation will be considered a second violation on the licensee's record. Then, if the licensee commits another violation within the same three-year period (for instance, a sale to an underage person), the penalty for that violation will be a third-violation penalty.

(8) Mitigating circumstances with regard to Title 16, ch. 4, part 10, MCA, are considered as follows:

(a) The mitigating circumstances provisions of 16-4-1008, MCA, apply only to violations of Title 16, ch. 4, part 10, MCA, and not to other violations.

(b) Neither cost nor convenience of training shall be considered by the department to excuse any licensee from compliance with the requirements of Title 16, ch. 4, part 10, MCA, and these rules.

(c) Any violation of 16-4-1005, MCA, occurring prior to April 1, 2012, will not be taken into account in determining the licensee's number of violations in a three-year period.

(d) In the department's discretion, a violation of 16-4-1005, MCA, occurring on or after April 1, 2012, may not be taken into account in determining the licensee's number of violations in a three-year period if:

(i) all managers and supervisors of persons who serve or sell alcoholic beverages meet the training requirements;

(ii) the licensee demonstrates to the department's satisfaction that its business policies and practices reflect substantial compliance with the server training requirements such that it is apparent the violation was the result of an oversight or mistake; and

(iii) the licensee has committed no previous violations of 16-4-1005, MCA.

(9) Mitigating circumstances in the case of sale to an underage person could result in a reprimand for the first offense under Title 16, MCA, within the most current three-year period if the licensee has provided alcoholic beverage service training acceptable to the department to all of its employees and reinforces that training with each employee at least every two years. The licensee must demonstrate that the person who made the sale to an underage person has completed alcoholic beverage service training prior to the department considering issuance of a reprimand. A written reprimand will be considered a first offense for the application of the progressive penalty schedule only if the licensee commits the same offense again within one year. The written reprimand in lieu of a violation shall be available only one time per licensee.

(10) Aggravating circumstances may result in the imposition of maximum monetary penalties, maximum suspension time or revocation, and will not bind the department to the progressive penalty framework indicated in (3).

(11) Aggravating circumstances include, but are not limited to:

(a) no effort on the part of a licensee to prevent a violation from occurring;

(b) a licensee's failure to report a violation at the time of renewal;

(c) a licensee's ignoring warnings issued by a regulating authority about compliance problems;

(d) recurring sales to underage persons or sales to intoxicated persons;

(e) a licensee's failure to timely respond to requests during the investigation of a violation; and

(f) a violation's significant negative effect on the health and welfare of the community in which the licensee operates.

(12) If the violation discovered is an undisclosed ownership interest, the department will consider aggravating circumstances described in (11) and mitigating circumstances such as voluntary disclosure of relevant facts in determining the appropriate penalty.

(13) Nothing in this rule prevents the department from revoking, suspending or refusing the renewal of a license if revocation, suspension or refusing renewal are expressly allowed in law or rule with reference to a prohibited act.


History: 16-1-303, 16-4-1009, MCA; IMP, 16-3-301, 16-4-406, 16-4-1001, 16-4-1002, 16-4-1003, 16-4-1004, 16-4-1005, 16-4-1006, 16-4-1007, 16-4-1008, 16-6-305, 16-6-314, MCA; NEW, Eff. 11/3/75; AMD, 1980 MAR p. 2199, Eff. 7/18/80; AMD, 1985 MAR p. 170, Eff. 2/15/85; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 2088, Eff. 7/31/98; AMD, 2001 MAR p. 449, Eff. 3/23/01; AMD, 2002 MAR p. 2337, Eff. 8/30/02; AMD, 2007 MAR p. 483, Eff. 4/13/07; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 122, Eff. 1/13/12; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 1150, Eff. 6/8/12; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 1846, Eff. 9/21/12.

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