Liquor Law

The Law Offices of Majdi Y. Hijazin, LTD have successfully represented business owners and other clients throughout the Cook and DuPage Counties in a variety of matters related to liquor licensing.

The types of liquor licenses that are issued in Illinois include the following:

  • Tavern License
  • Packaged Goods License
  • Consumption on Premises-Incidental Activity License
  • Club License (not-for-profit club)
  • Caterer's License (for caterers located within the City of Chicago)
  • Caterer's Registration (for caterers located outside the City of Chicago)
  • Outdoor Patio
  • Late Hour License

One of the most difficult aspects of opening a restaurant, bar or other business is obtaining a liquor license. The procedures to obtain a liquor license in Illinois are becoming increasingly complex and restrictive. Our firm can guide you through the entire process, including completing the liquor license application and arranging inspections with the health, fire and building departments. In addition, we can research any restrictions that could prohibit the liquor license from being issued. For example, in Illinois no liquor license may be issued to a business that is located within 100 feet of a school, church, hospital, daycare, library, or nursing home for the elderly. Some areas in Illinois have a moratorium, a prohibition on issuing new liquor licenses or a specific type of liquor license. The applicant must also ensure that the proposed business location does not have any zoning restrictions that would prohibit the sale of liquor. If the proposed business is in an area that was previously voted dry by election, the sale of liquor will also not be permitted.

The opinion of the neighboring community is also taken into consideration in the liquor licensing process. Notice is sent to every registered voter who lives within 250 feet of a business that has filed a liquor license application. The community is then given 40 days to comment publicly and can object to the issuing of the new license. Once the city or municipality has issued a liquor license, the applicant must then file a written application with the Illinois Liquor Control Commission and pay a fee. Applicants must also register with the Trade Bureau of the United States Department of Treasury and the Alcohol Tobacco Tax.

Even after obtaining a liquor license, the license can be revoked or suspended for any violations of the law. For example, selling, providing or serving alcohol to anyone under 21 is a violation punishable by a fine of at least $500. The licensee can also be fined up to $1000 for the first violation within a 12-month period, $1500 for a second violation within a 12-month period, and $2500 for a third or subsequent violation within a 12-month period. Our firm can represent you at violation hearings or help you appeal any license revocations or suspensions to the Liquor Appeals Commission, if in the city of Chicago, or the Illinois State Liquor Control Commission, if outside the city of Chicago.

The liquor licensing regulations in Illinois are extremely complicated and becoming even more so. Furthermore, the consequences for liquor code violations (heavy fines, license revocation) are severe. Having a knowledgeable attorney who can guide you through the legal process is crucial to prevent any costly missteps and save you valuable time and money. Majdi Y. Hijazin is an experienced litigator with a proven record of success in representing clients throughout the state of Illinois. He has handled many high-profile liquor law cases, including a successful appeal of the illegal confiscation of a client’s liquor license by police in Chicago Heights.

To schedule a consultation with an experienced Illinois liquor law attorney, call the Law Offices of Majdi Y. Hijazin, LTD at (630) 575-8181, or fill out and submit our online “Contact Us” form.

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