What are my rights as a licence holder
Licence holders and applicants have the right to fair administrative action.
Currently there are a good relationship with the DLO’s and the Liquor Authority’s inspectors. Designated liquor officers and inspectors can only enter your premises with your consent or with a warrant in terms of Section 75 of the Western Cape Liquor Act, 2008.
Any magistrate or judge can only issue a warrant with some sort of evidence under oath, which mean that they need at least a written statement under oath. They can enter you premises without a warrant only if they believe that they can get a warrant, if there is a delay with the issuing of a warrant. In either way they need then to have evidence under oath to obtain a warrant.
It is your right as a licence holder to request that they show it to you before they can enter if they do not have a warrant and you do not approve. This is your right as a licence holder.
If your restaurant is very busy, or your business is in its peaking hour, it is your right to insist that the DFO or Inspector needs to come in a time that suits you better.
In terms of section 75 of the Western Cape Liquor Act, 2008, they are not allowed to disrupt your business in any way, and that they must visit your premises at a reasonable time. You will always find a Inspector or DLO that are professional, and then you get inspectors and DLO's that do not have manners at all. If you are wrong, listen to them and obey, but if they are rude and you did nothing wrong, show them the door, insist that they get a warrant, and immediately contact your Attorney or your consultant.
If any Liquor Authority inspector is rude in any way, report that inspector to Shaun Willemse at the Liquor Authority. They are very helpful at all times.
The major problem why we discuss this matter is that the government requested in the new amendments in the DRAFT BILL To amend the Western Cape Liquor Act, 2008, “a designated liquor officer, peace officer or inspector may exercise a power referred to in section 74 relating to the entry, search or inspection of premises, if authorized by a warrant issued by a magistrate in accordance with subsection (3)”.
That means that any peace officer can also enter your premise. A peace officer can be basically anyone, even “ADT”.
If this act comes through in August or later this year, you have to protect your business. See an Attorney immediately or your consultant.
“Do not let a peace officer enter your premises without a warrant” This is very important.
Working with a DLO or Liquor Authority is one thing, but any peace officer is out of the question. As we all know, all appointments is affirmative action, and this people do not have a clue how business work. There are going to be serious implications on peace officers. The government is already only targeting licence holders and not unlicensed venues.
We have many occasions where the cops or Liquor Authority is closing a licensed premises e legally. A police officer cannot close your premises. Only when people’s lives are threatened in special circumstances but only till 24:00 that same day.
Remember the liquor Authority has no jurisdiction over non licenced premises. That is a police matter, not for the Liquor Authority.