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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 03-2393



[37 PA. CODE CH. 23]

Administration of the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement; Age Compliance Check Program

[33 Pa.B. 6227]

   Under 18 Pa.C.S. §§ 6308 and 6310 (relating to purchase, consumption, possession or transportation of liquor or malt or brewed beverages; and inducement of minors to buy liquor or malt or brewed beverages), this proposed rulemaking is necessary for the general administration of the age compliance program. This proposed rulemaking prescribes the manner in which compliance checks are to be performed and requires officers, employees and interns of the State Police Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement (Bureau) to undergo approved training prior to participation in a compliance check.


   The proposed rulemaking will affect the Bureau and establishments licensed to serve alcoholic beverages.

Fiscal Impact

   The proposed rulemaking will impose minimal costs upon the State Police in developing and implementing the requisite training and the age compliance check program.

Paperwork Requirements

   The proposed rulemaking will require the completion of additional forms, reports or other paperwork as prescribed and provided by the State Police.

Regulatory Review

   Under section 5(a) of the Regulatory Review Act (71 P. S. § 745.5(a)), on December 8, 2003, the State Police submitted a copy of this proposed rulemaking to the Independent Regulatory Review Commission (IRRC) and to the Chairpersons of the House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

   If IRRC has objections to any portion of the proposed rulemaking, it will notify the State Police within 30 days of the close of the public comment period. The notification shall specify the regulatory review criteria which have not been met by that portion. The Regulatory Review Act specifies detailed procedures for review, prior to final publication of the proposed regulations, by the State Police, the General Assembly and the Governor of objections raised.

Sunset Date

   No sunset date has been assigned; however, every facet of this proposed rulemaking will be continuously reviewed for effectiveness, clarity and whether it is serving the greater interests of citizens of this Commonwealth.

Public Comment

   Interested parties wishing to comment are invited to submit a written statement within 30 days of the publication of this proposed rulemaking in the Pennsylvania Bulletin. Each written statement must include the name, address and telephone number of the interested party and a concise statement with sufficient detail on the subject. Written statements should be directed to Syndi L. Guido, Policy Director, State Police, 1800 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110.

Contact Person

   The contact person is Syndi L. Guido, Policy Director, State Police, 1800 Elmerton Avenue, Harrisburg, PA 17110, (717) 772-0905. Individuals with a disability who require an alternative format of this document (that is, large print, audio tape or Braille), should contact Syndi Guido to may make the necessary arrangements.


   Fiscal Note: 17-64. No fiscal impact; (8) recommends adoption.

Annex A








23.21.Required training.
23.22.Age compliance checks.


§ 23.1.  Definitions.

   The following words and terms, when used in this chapter, have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   Age compliance check--An undercover investigation of a licensed premises during which an underage buyer purchases or attempts to purchase liquor or malt or brewed beverages under the supervision of a Bureau officer.

   Compliance--Refusing sale or service of liquor or malt or brewed beverages to the underage buyer.

   Bureau officer--A State Police officer or liquor enforcement officer who is assigned to an age compliance check.

   Enforcement Bureau (Bureau)--The Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement of the State Police.

   Licensed premises--A business licensed by the Liquor Control Board to sell liquor or malt or brewed beverages in this Commonwealth.

   Liquor--Includes any alcoholic, spirituous, vinous, fermented or other alcoholic beverage, or combination of liquors and mixed liquor a part of which is spirituous, vinous, fermented or otherwise alcoholic, including all drinks and drinkable liquids, preparations or mixtures, and reused, recovered or redistilled denatured alcohol usable or taxable for beverage purposes which contain more than .5% of alcohol by volume, except pure ethyl alcohol and malt or brewed beverages.

   Malt or brewed beverages--Any beer, lager beer, ale, porter or similar fermented malt beverage containing .5%or more of alcohol by volume, by whatever name the beverage may be called.

   Purchase--Obtaining food, nonalcoholic beverages, liquor, alcohol or malt or brewed beverages for consideration.

   Sale or sell--The transfer of liquor, alcohol or malt or brewed beverages for consideration.

   Underage buyer--An individual between 18 and 20 years of age who is an officer, employee or intern of the Enforcement Bureau and participates in an age compliance check.


§ 23.21.  Required training.

   (a)  Bureau officers. Before participating in an age compliance check, Bureau officers shall complete training approved by the Enforcement Bureau.

   (b)  Underage buyers. Before participating in an age compliance check, an underage buyer shall complete a training course prescribed by the Enforcement Bureau, which includes instruction in at least the following areas of study:

   (1)  Applicable provisions of the Liquor Code (43 P. S.) and 18 Pa.C.S. (relating to the Crimes Code).

   (2)  Safety protocols.

   (3)  Undercover investigations.

   (4)  Testifying in court.

§ 23.22.  Age compliance checks.

   (a)  The age compliance check shall be conducted with at least one bureau officer and one underage buyer.

   (b)  A Bureau officer shall be in charge of the age compliance check.

   (c)  A Bureau officer shall enter and remain inside the licensed premises during the age compliance check.

   (d)  The age compliance check shall be conducted at the licensed premises during regular business hours.

   (e)  While inside the licensed establishment, the Bureau officer will endeavor to maintain visual contact with the underage buyer.

   (f)  The Bureau officer shall observe the activity inside the licensed premises and determine if it is safe and appropriate to conduct the age compliance check.

   (g)  Underage buyers may purchase or attempt to purchase liquor or malt or brewed beverages only during an age compliance check and only while under the direct supervision of a Bureau officer.

   (h)  Underage buyers may not consume liquor or malt or brewed beverages.

   (i)  Upon purchase of liquor or malt or brewed beverages, the underage buyer shall deliver the liquor or malt or brewed beverages to the Bureau officer as soon as possible, consistent with safety protocols.

   (j)  A Bureau officer shall be responsible for insuring notification is made of the results of the age compliance check to the licensed premises.

   (1)  If the licensed premises is not in compliance, immediate verbal notification will be provided followed by written notification within 10 working days.

   (2)  If the licensed premises is found to be in compliance, written notification of compliance will be provided to the licensed premises.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 03-2393. Filed for public inspection December 19, 2003, 9:00 a.m.]

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