TITLE 4

Alcoholic Liquors

CHAPTER 5. LICENSES AND TAXES

Subchapter V. Cancellation or Suspension of License


(a) The Commissioner may cancel every license made use of on behalf of any person other than the one to whom or on behalf of whom it has been issued.

(b) The Commissioner may suspend any license and/or fine any licensee for the sale of alcoholic liquors if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the licensee has committed any of the following violations, or may cancel any license for the sale of alcoholic liquors for the following violations, if repeated and continuous:

(1) The licensee has violated any provision of this title or any regulation of the Commissioner pursuant hereto;

(2) The licensee has made any false representation or statement to the Commissioner in order to induce or prevent action by the Commissioner;

(3) The licensee is not maintaining an acceptable bond, if said bond is required;

(4) The licensee is acting as an agent of a manufacturer of alcoholic liquor or has borrowed money or accepted gratuities from such a manufacturer or any agent thereof;

(5) The licensee maintains a noisy, lewd, disorderly, or unsanitary establishment or has been supplying impure or otherwise deleterious beverages or food;

(6) The licensee is in the habit of using dangerous or narcotic drugs, or is in the habit of using alcoholic beverages to excess;

(7) The licensee has sold alcoholic liquor in contravention of § 708 of this title;

(8) The licensee has in the licensee's possession on the licensee's licensed premises or has sold or offered for sale any alcoholic beverages not purchased or sold pursuant to this title;

(9) The licensee has misrepresented any alcoholic liquor sold by the licensee as purchased through the Commissioner or has in the licensee's possession, or has used any wrappers, labels, corks, caps, stamps or bottles not purchased from or through the Commissioner which are deceptively similar to those used by the Commissioner;

(10) The licensee has since the granting of the licensee's license been convicted of a felony or has been convicted of violating any of the liquor laws of this State, general or local, including the provisions of this title;

(11) The licensee has admitted guilt or has been adjudged guilty of violations of local, municipal, county or State regulations, ordinances or codes related to the operation of a licensed premises;

(12) There is any other reason which in the opinion of the Commissioner based on public convenience or necessity warrants cancelling or suspending the license;

(13) The licensee or a representative thereof has disciplined, threatened or otherwise penalized any person for refusing to violate or aiding the enforcement of the provisions of this title or the rules of the Commissioner.

(c) The Commissioner shall not cancel or suspend any license for the sale of alcoholic liquors or impose any fine for an alleged violation of § 708 or § 904 of this title where the licensee or its employee has made a reasonable effort to determine the age of a purchaser of alcoholic liquors. For purposes of this subsection, a licensee or its employee shall be deemed to have made a reasonable effort to determine the age of a purchaser if, prior to any sale of alcoholic liquors, the licensee or its employee requires the purchaser to display identification, with a photograph of the purchaser thereon affixed, which sets forth information that would lead a reasonable man to believe the purchaser to be 21 years of age or older.

(d) Any of the grounds for refusal of a license as provided for in § 543 of this title shall also be adequate grounds for suspension of a license.

(e) The Commissioner may cancel any retail license if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the license was granted in violation of § 546(b) of this title, or any rule enacted pursuant to § 546(d) of this title.

(f) If the Commissioner receives notice from the appropriate political subdivision that any Certificate of Compliance issued to satisfy an applicant's duty under § 543(g) of this title has been suspended, then the Commissioner shall suspend any license or extension of an existing license granted in reliance on such Certificate of Compliance until such time as the Commissioner receives notice from the appropriate political subdivision that such Certificate has been reinstated. If the Commissioner receives notice from the appropriate political subdivision that any Certificate of Compliance issued to satisfy an applicant's duty under § 543(g) of this title has been canceled, then the Commissioner shall revoke any license or extension of an existing license granted in reliance on such Certificate of Compliance.

(g) The Commissioner may suspend any license for the sale of alcoholic liquors held by any taproom or restaurant or fine any licensee holding such a license if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the licensee has operated, caused the operation of or permitted the operation of any stationary source of sound in such a manner as to create an operative average sound level which is equal to or greater than 65 dBA, but less than 75 dBA, when measured at any location 100 feet or more from the licensed premises' real property boundary. The Commissioner shall suspend any license for the sale of alcoholic liquors held by any taproom or restaurant and fine any licensee holding such a license if it has reasonable grounds to believe that the licensee has operated, caused the operation of or permitted the operation of any stationary source of sound in such a manner as to create an operative average sound level which is equal to or greater than 75 dBA when measured at any location 100 feet or more from the real property boundary of the licensed premises. For the purpose of this section, "operative average sound level" means the energy average of the A-weighted sound pressure level during the business hours of operation of the licensed premises. The operative average sound level may be determined by an average of not less than 3 individual decibel readings taken not less than 10 minutes apart and taken from the same location. Provided however, that nothing in this subsection shall apply within the boundaries of any municipality.

38 Del. Laws, c. 18, § 29; Code 1935, § 6158; 41 Del. Laws, c. 246, § 1; 4 Del. C. 1953, § 561; 55 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 1; 57 Del. Laws, c. 416; 59 Del. Laws, c. 107, §§ 43-48; 59 Del. Laws, c. 590, § 7; 61 Del. Laws, c. 493, § 1; 67 Del. Laws, c. 109, § 17; 68 Del. Laws, c. 130, § 1; 68 Del. Laws, c. 376, § 2; 70 Del. Laws, c. 186, § 1; 71 Del. Laws, c. 435, §§ 6, 7; 72 Del. Laws, c. 486, § 9; 74 Del. Laws, c. 154, § 1; 75 Del. Laws, c. 417, § 2.;

(a) No license shall be cancelled or suspended, or any licensee fined:

(1) Until the licensee has been given a public hearing by the Commissioner at which time the licensee shall be entitled to legal representation and to present witnesses; and

(2) Unless the ground therefor shall be established by clear and convincing evidence.

A full and complete record shall be kept of all proceedings incident to such hearing. All testimony shall be recorded but need not be transcribed unless an order of the Commissioner is appealed to the Superior Court as set forth in subsection (c) of this section.

(b) Any order of the Commissioner relative to suspension or cancellation of a license, or a fine imposed against a licensee shall become final 10 days after the licensee receives notice thereof, unless within 10 days of the date of the postmark on the Commissioner's decision a written appeal is filed in the Superior Court. No bond shall be required for filing such appeal.

(c) The appeal shall state the grounds upon which a review is sought. After the appeal is filed, service shall be made by the Sheriff upon the Commissioner. The Commissioner shall certify and file with the court all documents and papers and a transcript of all testimony taken in the matter, together with the Commissioner's findings therein as soon as practicable but in no event later than 20 calendar days from the date of service of the appeal. The Superior Court's review of an appeal shall be on the record and the Superior Court shall take into account the experience and specialized competence of the agency and the purpose under which the agency acted. Further, the Superior Court's review, in the absence of fraud, shall be limited to whether the agency's decision is supported by substantial evidence on the record and is free from legal error.

(d) An appeal without bond may be taken from the decision of the Superior Court to the Supreme Court of this State in the same manner as is provided in civil cases. Upon the final determination of judicial proceedings, the Commissioner shall enter an order in accordance with such determination, or shall take such further or other action as the Court may order. A petition for judicial review shall act as a supersedeas.

38 Del. Laws, c. 18, § 29; Code 1935, § 6158; 47 Del. Laws, c. 119, § 1; 4 Del. C. 1953, § 562; 55 Del. Laws, c. 296, § 2; 59 Del. Laws, c. 107, §§ 49, 50; 72 Del. Laws, c. 486, §§ 9, 19, 20; 78 Del. Laws, c. 384, § 3.;

(a) The cancellation or the acceptance of a surrender of any license shall entail the loss of the privilege conferred by the license and shall entail the acceptance of or the seizure by the Commissioner of any alcoholic liquor found in the possession of the holder of the license, except those which occur solely by reason of the death of the licensee.

(b) Notice of the order of the cancellation or the acceptance of the surrender of the license may be served by an officer designated by the Commissioner by affixing a duplicate thereof to the outside of the entrance door of the licensed premises, or by leaving a duplicate with the holder of the license, or with any member of the family of the holder over the age of 18 years at the residence of the holder, or otherwise, as in the judgment of the Commissioner will give notice of such cancellation or acceptance of the surrender. All cancellations or acceptances of surrender shall take effect as soon as the order is served.

(c) The cancellation or acceptance of surrender of a license shall not in any wise prevent the institution of any criminal proceedings for any offense under this title by the person who was the holder of such license while it was in force. No conviction obtained for any offense under this title shall prevent the Commissioner from cancelling the license of any offender or from making at the same time a seizure of alcoholic liquor as provided in this title.

38 Del. Laws, c. 18, § 29; Code 1935, § 6158; 41 Del. Laws, c. 246, § 1; 4 Del. C. 1953, § 563; 59 Del. Laws, c. 107, § 51; 72 Del. Laws, c. 486, § 9.;

The Department of Finance shall, within 30 days of the date of the cancellation or acceptance of surrender of a license, remit to the former licensee a part of the license fee which has been paid and pertains to the unexpired term of the license. In addition, the Commissioner shall remit to the former licensee the amount originally received by the Commissioner from the former licensee in payment for such alcoholic liquor accepted or seized as remains in packages sealed by the Commissioner, after paying or deducting therefrom all costs and expenses incurred by the Commissioner by reason of the acceptance or seizure of the alcoholic liquor of the former licensee. When other legally acquired alcoholic liquors have been accepted or seized under this section, the value thereof as determined by the Commissioner shall be remitted by the Commissioner to the former licensee, after paying or deducting therefrom all costs and expenses incurred by the Commissioner by reason of the acceptance or seizure of the alcoholic liquor of the former licensee. When illegally acquired alcoholic liquors have been seized under this section, no payment shall be made therefor.

38 Del. Laws, c. 18, § 29; Code 1935, § 6158; 41 Del. Laws, c. 246, § 1; 44 Del. Laws, c. 205, § 1; 4 Del. C. 1953, § 564; 57 Del. Laws, c. 741, § 27A; 72 Del. Laws, c. 486, § 9.;