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Ohio Department of Commerce

As New Year’s Eve approaches, the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Liquor Control (DOLC) and the Ohio Investigative Unit (OIU) emphasize the importance of responsibly serving and drinking alcohol this New Year’s Eve.

“When serving alcohol, you’re responsible for ensuring the person is 21 and not intoxicated,” said Major Gary Allen, OIU commander. “Not being a responsible liquor permit holder or party host can have life-changing ramifications. You must understand their safety starts with you.”

In Ohio, consumers may only purchase liquor from authorized sources, such as bars, liquor stores, and restaurants. Raffling off liquor or purchasing it from a secondary site, such as Facebook Marketplace or Offer Up, can put consumers at risk of purchasing and consuming counterfeit or tampered products. Selling alcohol on a secondary site is illegal and can be punishable by law.

“We want to keep Ohioans safe,” said Jim Canepa, DOLC superintendent. “That is why we are reminding all alcohol distributors and consumers to refrain from illegal and dangerous behavior, such as overconsumption and providing alcohol to anyone underage. The social responsibility and awareness in all communities is a critical influence on the behavior of those drinking.”

Here are five ways officials say liquor establishments and party hosts can have a safe, enjoyable and, most importantly, responsible New Year’s Eve:

  • Don’t serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21;
  • Don’t serve alcohol to anyone who is intoxicated;
  • If someone has had too much to drink, don’t let them drive;
  • If you see someone tampering with another person’s beverage, get that person out of the situation and call for help immediately; and
  • Take reports of threats against your patrons or guests seriously.

Remember, it is against the law to give away alcohol in connection with your business. Also, patrons cannot pay a flat fee for an “all-you-can-drink” promotion. Liquor permit holders who would like more information and price list rules can contact OIU to schedule an Alcohol Server Knowledge (ASK) course. For more information on the ASK class, log onto https://www.oiu.ohio.gov/oiu-programs.aspx.