The Pennsylvania State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement was created on July 1, 1987, under Section 211 of the Liquor Code. BLCE is responsible for enforcing the Liquor Code and any regulations pursuant thereto. Officers assigned to the Bureau investigate when there is reason to believe alcoholic beverages are being sold on premises not licensed, or any other violation of Act 21. Enforcement officers may arrest on view, except in private homes, any person in violation of certain provisions of the Pennsylvania Criminal Statutes. Enforcement officers also investigate and issue citations to licensees for violations of the Liquor Code, other laws of the Commonwealth relating to alcoholic beverages, or any regulations of the Board adopted pursuant to the laws.
Enforcement officers are civilian personnel of the State Police. The Office of Chief Counsel for the State Police represents BLCE in all proceedings before the Office of Administrative Law Judge or any other adjudicatory body.
Alcohol Awareness “CHOICES”
The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement provides an educational program called “CHOICES”. This program, which is directed toward middle school, high school or college age individuals, is presented by Liquor Enforcement Officers and is tailored to the respective group. “CHOICES” discusses the law, penalties, peer pressure and consequences of choosing to participate or associate with the underage consumption of alcohol. This program is offered in a classroom or small assembly setting. To find out more about the program or to make arrangements to have a “CHOICES” presentation, contact the liquor enforcement district office in your area.
The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement participates with the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board in educational seminars directed toward the licensee community. These seminars explain updates and changes to the laws regulating the sale and consumption of alcohol. They provide information to assist licensees in operating their business in a safe, effective and legal manner. Representatives from the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board and other state agencies are usually available to answer all licensee questions. For dates and locations, visit the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board website.
General questions regarding the laws and regulations covering the sale and consumption of alcohol in the state of Pennsylvania can be directed to Bureau personnel at the district office with enforcement responsibility for your area.
The Board, as the regulatory authority, is also responsible for licensing all establishments involved in the manufacture, transportation, and sales of alcoholic beverages in the Commonwealth. All individuals and businesses who intend to operate such types of businesses in the Commonwealth must apply for the appropriate license with the Board. Licenses must be renewed on a regular basis, and the Board has the authority to object to (and ultimately deny) the renewal application, enter into a conditional licensing agreement, and may suspend operating privileges under certain circumstances.
The PLCB has the authority to develop and promulgate regulations which govern the alcoholic beverage industry. The PLCB offers advisory opinions to licensees as guidance in their business operations.