Any standard cabaret, dance cabaret, special dance cabaret, or acoustic cabaret licensee desiring to allow patrons under sixteen years of age on the licensed premises when entertainment is being provided may do so only under one of the following conditions set forth in Denver Revised Municipal Code Section 6-34(b):
Any event center cabaret licensee desiring to allow persons under sixteen years of age on the licensed premises at any time may do so only under one of the following conditions set forth in Denver Revised Municipal Code Section 6-34(d):
An applicant for a new liquor license may request the local licensing authority to approve concurrent review of the application by the state. Such review will be approved only when the application documents are complete, i.e., when the public hearing is set.
There is an additional fee for a concurrent review.
The Department of Excise and Licenses reserves right to initiate investigations related to alleged violations of the state liquor and beer codes and/or local cabaret ordinances and/or department policies and procedures. The department additionally reserves right to take administrative action against a licensee where appropriate.
Investigations related to alleged violations of the state liquor and beer codes and/or local cabaret ordinances and/or department policies and procedures may be initiated upon receipt of information by the Department of Excise and Licenses that suggest that a licensee has engaged in conduct or behavior that violates existing laws and/or policies and procedures. Investigations may be conducted by state liquor enforcement officials or its designated agents, the Denver Police Department or its designated agents, Inspectors employed by the Department of Excise and Licenses, or any other representative or agent of the City and County of Denver vested with authority to maintain the health, safety, peace and welfare of Denver citizens.
If an investigation is founded, the Department of Excise and Licenses will take one of two actions. The department will either require the licensee to present itself to the agency to participate in an “order in” or the department will file an administrative complaint against the licensee.
The Department of Excise and Licenses or its designated agent may order a licensee to appear at the department to discuss alleged violations of the state liquor code and/or violations of local ordinances and/or violations of department policies and procedures. During an order in the department provides fair warning to a licensee about non-compliant conduct and admonishes a licensee to immediately take corrective action. The department may require a licensee to agree in writing to correct non-compliant conduct or be subject to further disciplinary action.
Show Cause Complaints
The department may cause to be issued a show cause order to any licensee who is alleged to have violated any federal, state, or local laws and city ordinances or any regulations or procedures governing the conduct of liquor licensed establishments. The department shall provide the licensee with a copy of a show cause order. Such order shall include the basis of the complaint and notice of the date and time of a hearing at which the licensee must show cause why its license should not be suspended or revoked. The city bears the burden of proof regarding the basis of the show cause order. The licensing authority has the power to administer oaths and issue subpoenas to require the presence of persons and the production of papers, books, and records necessary for any hearing that the licensing authority is authorized to conduct.
A licensee has obligation to comply with notice requirements mandated by state law and/or regulations, and/or local ordinances, and/or agency policies and procedures. If a licensee fails to abide by requisite notice requirements, the Department of Excise and Licenses will take further appropriate administrative action.
Public Hearing Process
Licensees subject to show cause actions will have opportunity to meet with an Assistant City Attorney to discuss allegations in the complaint to resolve the show cause matter without a hearing. If agreed to by the parties, the Assistant City Attorney and the licensee may submit a proposed Stipulation to the Director of the Department to resolve the show cause matter. The Director has sole discretion to either accept or reject a proposed stipulation. If a proposed Stipulation is accepted, the Director will issue an Order to include administrative action taken against the licensee. The Department will provide a copy of the order to the licensee. If a proposed Stipulation is rejected, the Director will issue an Order indicating so and will further order the parties to proceed to hearing as originally scheduled.
The Director of the Department of Excise and Licenses will not accept a proposed stipulation within seventy-two (72) ours of a hearing date.
When a matter proceeds to hearing, within ten (10) days of the date of the hearing, a Hearing Officer will issue a Recommended Decision. A copy of the decision will be provided to the licensee. The City’s representative and the licensee will each have ten (10) days to file objections to a recommended Decision. Once objections, if any, are received, the Director will issue a final decision. Any suspension of a license as result of a show cause action shall not exceed a period of six (6) months.
The Department of Excise and Licenses will not take administrative action in cases where an investigation is deemed “unfounded." An unfounded investigation exists when it is determined that there is no basis upon which to proceed with an administrative action.
Per Colorado Revised Statute, Section 12-47-601(2) and Regulation 47-602, the Department may issue a summary suspension of a license when it has reasonable grounds to believe and determines that a licensee has been guilty of a deliberate and willful violation of any applicable law or regulation or that the public health, safety or welfare imperatively requires emergency action.
When a license is summarily suspended, the Department of Excise and Licenses will schedule a hearing within fifteen (15) days. The city bears the burden of proof at a hearing on a summary suspension. The licensee will be given the opportunity to be present to present any evidence in his/her defense.
After hearing testimony and evidence related to a summary suspension, a Hearing Officer will issue a Recommended Decision. A copy of the decision will be provided to the licensee. The Assistant City Attorney and the licensee will each have ten (10) days to file objections to a Recommended Decision. Once objections, if any, are received, the Director will issue a final decision.
There are times when licensees neglect to inform the Department of Excise and Licenses ofchanges in ownership or corporate structure. Each situation will be handled by the department on an individual basis, with the following guidelines in mind:
Colorado Statue: Per C.R.S., Section 12-47.1-101 et. Seq., C.R.S., Section 12-60-101 et. Seq., and C.R.S. Sec. 12-47-901(5)(n)(I)
Colorado Liquor Code prohibits an establishment which has a liquor license from permitting any gambling or use of any gambling machine or device on the premises.
Regulation 47-922 of the Colorado Code of Regulations prohibits a licensee from permitting machines or devices normally used for gambling on the premises except as permitted under the Limited Gaming Act. “Gambling device” is defined in C.R.S. Sec. 18-10-102(3) as including devices, machines, paraphernalia or equipment used or usable in professional gambling activity.
Gambling Devices Used/Not Used for Gambling
The Department of Excise and Licenses takes the same position and will allow such devices to be on licensed premises in Denver only if they are not used for gambling.
For example,if a non-profit organization holds a fund-raiser and charges a certain amount to gain entry into the event and host a “Las Vegas” night, all money raised from the use of any gambling device or from gambling-like activity must go to the non-profit. Funds raised may not go to the participants in any manner, i.e., prizes, drinks, a drawing for a prize,etc.
Profits from Gambling Machines Must Go to a Non Profit Organization
Any licensee who proposes to allow the type of fund-raiser described above must file a statement with the Department of Excise and Licenses from the sponsors of the event stating that all profits from use of gambling machines will be contributed directly to an identified non-profit organization.
Said organization must file proof of its status as a non-profit with the department. Proof of non-profit status may be determined by presenting either a current certificate of good standing as a non-profit in the state of Colorado, a letter from the Internal Revenue Service granting non-profit status to the organization, a letter from the national office of a local chapter outlining the basis of the non-profit status, or other document deemed adequate by the Director.
When the Department receives one or more complaints which allege behavior by a licensee or its patrons that is causing problems in the neighborhood, the Director will consider whether or not mediation could be used to resolve complaints.
Problems include but are not limited to the following:
If the Director believes that mediation may be useful, the Director will ask the licensee and the neighbors to participate in mediation.
If all parties agree, a hearing officer will be assigned to act as a mediator with the parties. The goal is to reach a written conclusion that is acceptable to all involved. The written agreement may or may not become part of the license depending on the circumstances of the case.
The Department will allow a liquor-licensed premise to reserve an entire licensed premise for a private party.
In April 1997, the Colorado State Legislature passed legislation which allows a local licensing authority to deny an application for a tavern or liquor store license if the additional license would add to the undue concentration of liquor licenses in the area and, as a result, require the use of additional law enforcement resources.
Regulation 47-301 to determine whether undue concentration of liquor licenses exists
In determining whether to deny an application based on undue concentration considerations, the Department of Excise and Licenses will be guided by Regulation 47-301 of the Colorado Liquor Enforcement Division. This regulation states that the local licensing authority may consider the following factors to determine whether undue concentration exists:
Analysis related to undue concentration will be performed by the Department of Excise and Licenses at the time an application is submitted for review. The Department will have responsibility to obtain statistical crime data from the Department of Safety to conduct required analysis.
In considering the issue of undue concentration during a hearing, the Hearing Officers or the Director will be flexible regarding the admissibility of evidence, Hearing Officers and the Director will use discretion in ruling on the admissibility of evidence.