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Penalties for Illegal Alcohol Service

Wisconsin Penalties for Illegal Alcohol Service

Approved by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission (TABC)



The two biggest risks in the alcohol industry are selling alcohol to a minor and serving an intoxicated person. In Wisconsin, the penalties for business owners, mangers, or other employees selling alcohol illegally can be severe. Below you'll find some of the basic penalties and fees related to improper alcohol sales.

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Penalties for Selling to an Intoxicated Person

In Wisconsin, it is against the law to sell or serve alcoholic beverages to someone if you determine they are already intoxicated. If you are caught selling to an intoxicated person, you could face a $100 -$500 fine, as well as a possible maximum jail sentence of 60 days.

Penalties for Accepting Fake IDs

An underage person who is caught using fake identification to enter an establishment designated for drinking alcohol — a nightclub, bar, or other drinking locale — will face a fine of $250-$500, a suspended driver's license, and could possibly be forced to participate in a supervised work program. In addition, a minor could face $300-$1,200 in fines just for carrying the fake ID.

But what if you or someone on your staff accepts a fake ID as proof of legal drinking age in a bar or restaurant? If you accept false identification and serve or sell alcohol to a minor, you'll be charged $500 for your first offense. If you commit a second offense within 30 months, you could face another $500 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

In addition to individual fines and penalties, a business owner will also face suspension of their liquor license. Depending on the number of violations, the license could be suspended for 3 days for a first violation and up to 30 days for a fourth violation within the same year.

Civil Liability for Retaining an ID Card

You don't have to accept a fake ID. In fact, if you suspect a customer is attempting to pass off false identification, you have a legal responsibility to hold onto the document to determine whether the ID is legitimate. If you suspect the ID is fake, you're responsible for contacting law enforcement and alerting them of suspected fraud.

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Wisconsin Responsible Beverage Server Course

The best way to prepare yourself for the challenges that come with selling or serving alcohol in Wisconsin is to take a Responsible Beverage Server course. There is nothing superfluous about taking a course like the one offered by Seller Server; not only an excellent way to get up to speed on current laws and penalties, but it is also required by the state.