If I Have DUI Can I Obtain a Liquor License?

By Tara Dodrill - Updated June 16, 2017
Handcuffs, keys and glass of alcohol on ice with copy space

Both federal and state laws govern who can be granted a liquor license. State regulations vary, but all require a criminal record background check. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau develops regulations that conform to the Federal Alcohol Administration Act.

Criminal Background

A criminal background check is used to determine the “fitness” of the applicant. Felony convictions and specific misdemeanor convictions may negate the ability of an applicant to gain a liquor license. The length of time since a DUI or drug related conviction and the type of prevention treatment you have completed since the arrest will be taken into consideration.

Liquor Control Commission

Local liquor control commission offices govern the issuance of liquor permits in a designated geographic area. In addition to conducting criminal background checks, the agency also determines the number of permits available in a specific municipal area.

Municipal Review

A city council or other related municipal authority can recommend or disapprove a liquor license to an individual or place of business. The state department of liquor licenses or liquor control board will take the local input into consideration when reviewing a permit application. Typically the review process takes 60 days and includes a right to appeal a rejection.

About the Author

Tara Dodrill began writing professionally in 1990. She is a travel writer and photographer working for print and online media, primarily covering Florida, ecotourism and off-the-beaten-path destinations. Her writing credits include RUMBUM, Yahoo News, Visit South magazine,and North Carolina Coastal Guide. She studied journalism and education at Ohio University and real estate at Hondros College.

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