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US Market #180, LLC v. Oregon Liquor Control Commission

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 05-09-2012
Case #: A144311
Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Duncan J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144311.pdf

Administrative Law: Under OAR 845-006-0335(1), an employee selling alcoholic beverages is only required to visually verify a purchaser's age when the employee is not using age verification equipment under OAR 845-005-0335(5).

U.S. Market (Market) appealed the suspension of its liquor license by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC). The OLCC required all Market employees use age verification equipment if a purchaser looked under 30. An employee relied on the machine's verification when an undercover purchaser attempted and succeeded in buying alcohol. The store was thereafter cited for the sale because the employee failed to visually check the accuracy of the machine's approval against the minor's actual license. In response to this citation, OLCC suspended Market’s liquor license. On appeal, Market argued that, under OAR 845-005-0335(5), the wording of the restriction only stated that Market “require their employees to use the equipment,” not that the employee was required to verify the age of the alcohol purchaser. The Court of Appeals held that the restriction only mandated Market employees use the equipment, and not visually verify the purchaser's age. Reversed and remanded.