Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Review of License Applications.


§ 25–431. Review procedures — General provisions.

(a) Except as otherwise provided herein, Board actions and procedures shall be governed by Chapter 5 of Title 2.

(b) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, the Board may meet in panels of at least 3 members for the purpose of conducting hearings and taking official actions. Three members shall constitute a quorum.

(c) The Board may establish alternate procedures for uncontested, interim administrative proceedings or issuing stipulated licenses. Such procedures shall be submitted to the Council for approval as provided under § 25-211(b).

(d) The Chair of the Board may appoint a Vice-Chair for the purposes of leading panels as provided for in this section.

(e) For the purposes of this chapter, the Board may permit the Board of Directors of a licensee under a club license to designate a representative to represent it during proceedings before the Board.

(f) Upon receipt of a complete application, the Board shall schedule an roll call hearing on the application. The roll call hearing shall not take place until after the close of the 45-day protest period. This roll call hearing may be conducted by a panel of 3 Board members.

(g) Before any license is issued or renewed, and before any substantial change in the operation of a licensed establishment as determined by the Board under § 25-404, the Board shall ensure that proper notice has been provided to the public and that the public has been given at least 45 days in which to protest the license and that an roll call hearing has been conducted.

(h)(1) The roll call hearing shall be a non-adversarial proceeding conducted by the Board's agent, at which hearing a list of applications for a new or renewed license or approval of substantial change in operation as under § 25-404, and the protestants thereto, shall be read to the public.

(2) For the purposes of this subsection, the term "Board's agent" means an employee at or above the Grade 12 level in the Office of the General Counsel within ABRA, excluding the ABRA General Counsel, who shall have the authority to:

(A) Regulate the course of the hearing;

(B) Request the persons appearing at the hearing to identify themselves, and to provide contact information, including e-mail addresses;

(C) Request or accept written documentation from the parties, including letters of representation;

(D) Identify the parties with standing and the filed protest issues;

(E) Schedule mediation;

(F) Adjourn a hearing and establish the date when the hearing will be continued; and

(G) Take any other action considered necessary by the Board.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Oct. 30, 2018, D.C. Law 22-165, § 2(d)(6), 65 DCR 9366.)


§ 25–432. Standard review procedures.

(a) If no protest has been received by the Board during the protest period, the Board shall consider the application within 10 days after the end of the protest period.

(b) If a protest has been received by the Board during the protest period, the Board shall take the following actions:

(1) The Board shall schedule a protest hearing, to be held within 75 days of the end of the protest period, for new license applications to receive testimony and other evidence regarding the application in accordance with §§ 25-442 and 25-444.

(2)(A) The parties shall be informed of their obligation to attend a settlement conference under § 25-445 for the purpose of discussing and resolving, if possible, the objections raised by the protestants.

(B) The parties shall be informed of their rights and responsibilities with respect to reaching a settlement under §§ 25-445 and 25-446.

(C) At the request of all parties, and if a settlement conference would be unlikely to succeed, the Board may waive the parties’ obligation to attend a settlement conference.

(3) The Board shall issue a decision in accordance with § 25-433.


(May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(p), 60 DCR 3410; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-270, § 2(c)(1), 62 DCR 1866.)

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 inserted “to be held within 75 days of the end of the protest period, for new license applications” in (b)(1).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-270 substituted “the Board shall consider” for ” the Board shall schedule an administrative review to consider” in (a).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary amendment of (b)(1), see § 2(p) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(p) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-52, April 22, 2013, 60 DCR 6372, 20 DCSTAT 1388).


§ 25–433. Decisions of the board; petition for reconsideration.

(a) No application shall be approved until the Board has determined that the applicant has complied with § 25-402(a)(8) through (10) [now (7) through (9)] (and § 25-402(b) if the applicant is a restaurant or hotel) or, in the case of a renewal, has fulfilled the license requirements of this title. The Board shall make findings of fact with respect to each requirement, including the appropriateness standards set forth in §§ 25-313, 25-314, and 25-315, and the food sales requirements for restaurants and hotels.

(b) For the purposes of this section, the record shall close 30 days after a hearing is concluded to allow the parties to submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law and any other document submissions requested by the Board.

(c) Within 90 days after the close of the record, the Board shall issue its written decision accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law. For new license applications, the Board shall issue its written decisions accompanied by findings of fact and conclusions of law within 60 days after the close of the record. The Board shall publish and maintain a compilation of its decisions and orders.

(d)(1) A petition for reconsideration, rehearing, reargument, or stay of a decision or order of the Board may be filed by a party within 10 days after the date of receipt of the Board’s final order.

(2) The filing or the granting of a petition filed under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall not stay the final order unless the stay is specifically ordered by the Board.

(3) A stay shall be granted only upon good cause, which shall consist of unusual or exceptional circumstances.

(e) The Board may establish procedures under § 25-211(b) to consider an application which is not protested during the protest period.


(Jan. 24, 1934, 48 Stat. 327, ch. 4, § 14; Aug. 25, 1937, 50 Stat. 802, 803, ch. 766, §§ 1, 2; June 15, 1938, 52 Stat. 691, ch. 396, § 3; June 29, 1953, 67 Stat. 103, ch. 159, § 404(e), (f); Aug. 2, 1968, 82 Stat. 616, Pub. L. 90-450, title IV, § 404; Mar. 5, 1981, D.C. Law 3-146, § 4, 27 DCR 4753; Sept. 29, 1982, D.C. Law 4-157, §§ 8, 15, 29 DCR 3617; Mar. 8, 1984, D.C. Law 5-51, § 2(b)(4), (c), 30 DCR 5927; June 29, 1984, D.C. Law 5-97, § 2, 31 DCR 2556; Mar. 7, 1987, D.C. Law 6-217, § 9, 34 DCR 907; June 5, 1987, D.C. Law 7-7, § 2, 34 DCR 2640; Oct. 3, 1992, D.C. Law 9-174, § 2(b), (c), 39 DCR 5859; May 24, 1994, D.C. Law 10-122, § 2(f), 41 DCR 1658; Apr. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 12-261, § 2003(q)(2), 46 DCR 3142; Oct. 20, 1999, D.C. Law 13-39, § 2, 46 DCR 6548; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; Oct. 1, 2002, D.C. Law 14-190, § 1702(i), 49 DCR 6968; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-310, § 2(q), 60 DCR 3410; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-270, § 2(c)(2), 62 DCR 1866.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-433.

1973 Ed., § 25-115.

Section References

This section is referenced in § 25-432.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 14-190, in subsec. (b), substituted “30” for “10”.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-310 added the second sentence in (c).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-270 rewrote (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 1702(i) of Fiscal Year 2003 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2002 (D.C. Act 14-453, July 23, 2002, 49 DCR 8026).

For temporary amendment of (c), see § 2(q) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Emergency Amendment Act of 2012 (D.C. Act 19-597, January 14, 2013, 60 DCR 1001).

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 2(q) of the Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-52, April 22, 2013, 60 DCR 6372, 20 DCSTAT 1388).


§ 25–434. Influencing the application process.

(a) A person shall not provide, offer to provide, request, or receive anything of value for the personal use, enjoyment, or profit of an individual in exchange for the individual’s promise not to exercise his or her rights provided under this title to object to, or petition against, a license application.

(b) Any person who violates subsection (a) of this section shall be guilty of a criminal misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned for not more than 90 days, or fined not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01], or both.


(Jan. 24, 1934, ch. 4, § 14a; as added Oct. 3, 1992, D.C. Law 9-174, § 2(d), 39 DCR 5859; May 3, 2001, D.C. Law 13-298, § 101, 48 DCR 2959; June 11, 2013, D.C. Law 19-317, § 284(a), 60 DCR 2064.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 25-434.

Effect of Amendments

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-317 substituted “not more than the amount set forth in [§ 22-3571.01]” for “not more than $300” in (b).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) amendment of this section, see § 284(a) of the Criminal Fine Proportionality Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-45, April 1, 2013, 60 DCR 5400, 20 DCSTAT 1300).

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 19-317: Section 401 of D.C. Law 19-317 provided that the act shall apply only to offenses committed on or after June 11, 2013.