What is a “show cause” hearing for liquor license violations?

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2021 | Liquor License |

Those who own a bar or nightclub in the greater Denver metro area can earn quite a lucrative income. However, running an establishment that sells alcohol means you must comply with city and state liquor license laws.

Businesses that violate these laws risk losing their licenses, at least temporarily. In turn, the loss of a license to serve alcohol, even temporarily, can have a catastrophic effect on the business’s success and your earnings.

Show cause hearings for license violations

When authorities suspect you have violated liquor license laws, they may order a show cause hearing to investigate the matter. If you have never experienced such a hearing, the prospect can be intimidating. Knowing what to expect during the hearing can lessen your anxiety, leaving your mind free to prepare. Here’s what to know:

  • Your notice. First, you will receive an Order to Show Cause, including details of your alleged violations and the date of the hearing. Receiving this notice in advance gives you time to prepare how you will “show cause” as to why you should keep your license.
  • Burden of proof. The liquor license authorities have the burden of proof in these matters. They must gather and present sufficient evidence as to why the establishment requires disciplinary action. They may subpoena your establishment’s records and even witnesses to prove their case.
  • Final decisions. After reviewing the evidence, the hearing officer will decide if a violation occurred. If it did, the officer makes a recommended decision or a final decision regarding your liquor license.
  • Another option. If you wish to avoid a show cause hearing, you may contact an authorized city official to discuss the allegations. In many cases, those alleged to have violated Denver’s liquor license laws can resolve the matter without attending a hearing.

Learning more about liquor license laws in the Denver region can also help you resolve your licensing problems.