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U.S. Market #109 v. OLCC

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 06-06-2012
Case #: A144388
Armstrong, P.J. for the Court; Haselton, C.J.; and Duncan, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A144388.pdf

Administrative Law: When the OLCC places a restriction on the liquor license requiring the Licensee to install age verification equipment and train the employees to use it, the Licensee must require its employees to use the equipment in appropriate circumstances.

U.S. Market (licensee) sought review of OLCC's order cancelling U.S. Market's license to sell alcohol. The OLCC had placed several restrictions on the Licensee, one of which required the Licensee to install age verification equipment and require employees to use it. An employee sold alcohol to a minor and claimed that the age verification equipment was broken because the scanner was broken, but it could have worked if the employee had manually entered information into the machine. The OLCC imposed sanctions based on the interpretation that the restriction required the Licensee to use the age verification equipment and verify that the customer is over 21. The Court disagreed with the OLCC’s interpretation and found instead that the Licensee must require its employees to use the age verification equipment during appropriate alcohol sales. However, the Court found that there was substantial evidence in the record to support the OLCC’s findings that the Licensee had failed to comply with the restriction since the U.S. Market employee failed to manually enter information when asked to test the age verification equipment, that employees were never properly instructed to use the machine, and that the employees were never instructed to manually enter information when the scanner failed. The Court reversed and remanded for reconsideration of sanctions due to the Court’s previous decision U.S. Market #180, LLC v. OLCC.