It turns out it is surprisingly easy for a restaurant to lose its liquor license. For a recent example, look at the case of a Chili's in East Haven that had its liquor license suspended for one day and had to pay a fine for serving alcohol to a minor. While a one-day suspension may not sound too bad, restaurant owners still need to be vigilant because one mistake could lead to a permanent loss of license.
An easy way for a restaurant to lose a liquor license is to serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. It is for this reason that any establishment that serves alcohol needs to check IDs. However, there are plenty of other ways to fall on the wrong side of the law.
Overserving an overly intoxicated patron
When restaurant owners hire bartenders, they should make sure to hire people who know when to cut patrons off. Continuing to provide a person with alcohol when he has clearly had too much can lead to the person injuring himself or even dying. In addition to losing the liquor license, the bar may also be liable for any damages.
Allowing people to drink in unlicensed areas
Even if your bar can serve alcohol, that does not mean people can drink it wherever they wish. People cannot consume alcohol in a washroom, hallway, storage area or food preparation area. The easiest way to limit your liability with these cases is to clearly post signs saying where people can drink. You also want to inform staff of where patrons can and cannot drink.
Selling during unauthorized times
Your liquor license will state which times you can serve alcohol. Even if you serve someone a drink 10 minutes after closing, you still put your license in jeopardy. When the time comes to close up shop, your bartenders need to stop pouring immediately.