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Authority & Date Established: Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4301.

The Liquor Control Commission was originally established as part of the Department of Liquor Control and became an independent agency in 1985. The Commission is an adjudication and rule making agency that oversees the alcohol beverage industry. The mission of the Commission is to ensure compliance with the liquor laws and regulations of the state of Ohio and to provide fair and impartial hearings for the protection of the public and liquor permit holders. The Commission also adopts and promulgates rules, standards, and requirements regarding the manufacture, distribution, and sale of alcoholic beverages in Ohio. 

The Commission hears cases related to violations of state liquor laws that could result in fines or the suspension or revocation of liquor permits. It also hears appeals from either permit holders or communities that object to decisions made by the Department of Commerce's Division of Liquor Control concerning the issuance, renewal and/or transfer of liquor permits. In addition, the Commission can hear appeals on the non-renewal of liquor sales permits based on failure to pay taxes.

Rule Review: In 1996 the 121st General Assembly enacted Substitute House Bill 473 which generally requires state agencies to set for each of its rules a review date that is not later than five years after the rule's effective date or the rule's immediately preceding review date, but only if the rule is subject to review by the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review (JCARR).

The Commission welcomes public input on rules. The Commission's rule review schedule through 2018 is updated as rules are reviewed. The Commission's Guide to Rule-Making and Public Participation gives the public information as to how they can get involved in the rule-review process. For more information in regards to current rules under review please go to the Public Hearings page.

The Liquor Control Commission is comprised of a staff of three fixed-term Commissioners and five full-time office employees. The three Commissioners are appointed for a six-year term by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate.

  • What is the procedure for filing an appeal with the Commission (Ohio Revised Code 4301.28)
  • Forfeitures/fines collected as a result of commission orders are deposited in the General Revenue Fund
  • In total, the Commission hears over 3,000 cases per year.
  • ​The Commission promulgates rules regarding liquor production, sales restrictions, minimum sale prices, advertising and other matters related to the manufacture, distribution and sale of beer, wine and liquor.

The Commission works in conjunction with the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control, and the Ohio Department of Public Safety, Investigative Unit. Below is a listing of the primary activities performed by each agency. For more information about these two agencies please go to their websites.

  Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control

  • Processes new applications for all liquor permits in the state, including manufacturers, distributors, and retailers
  • Processes applications for transfers and renewals of existing liquor permits
  • Maintains authority to reject and deny certain applications for various reasons
  • Receives objections to liquor permit applications from legislative authorities and certain institutions, conducts hearings, and renders decisions on those objections
  • Adverse decisions may be appealed to the Liquor Control Commission by permit applicants and legislative authorities; objecting institutions do not have any right of appeal under the law
  • Awards contracts for state liquor agencies

Ohio Department of Public Safety, Investigative Unit

  • Responsible for the enforcement of Ohio’s liquor laws and regulations
  • Issues citations to liquor permit holders who are in violation of Ohio’s liquor laws and regulations. After a citation is written, the matter is referred to the Attorney General’s Office - Liquor Unit which will schedule the case for a hearing before the Liquor Control Commission
  • Maintains records and case history of liquor permit holders with liquor violations
  • Maintains regional offices
  • Offers training classes to permit holders and their employees
  • Answers questions regarding compliance with Ohio liquor laws and rules