Risk-Based Liquor Inspections

The LGA uses a risk-based model to decide how often inspectors visit licensed establishments. This allows the LGA to inspect all premises, while strategically focusing its resources where they are most likely to enhance public safety.

Although there is always some risk associated with selling and serving liquor, the LGA recognizes that some establishments are more at risk to breach liquor laws or to pose a risk to the public interest, because of their (1) compliance history, (2) licence types, (3) capacity, (4) hours of operation, and (5) entertainment format.

The LGA scores each premises on these five criteria, which together indicate the relative risk associated with the business. Criteria are weighted and scored resulting in a total score ranging from zero points to 24 points. Each licensee’s total score is used to assign a risk level, which determines how often inspectors visit, as follows:

Total Points                             Risk Level                  Inspection Frequency

More than 17 points                 A                               Every two weeks

10 to 17 points                         B                               Every month

5 to 9 points                            C                               Every 3 months

Less than 5 points                    D                               Every six months

Most of the criteria are based on the licensee’s business model; however, compliance history is the most heavily-weighted criterion and the one that licensees can control. Licensees can lower their risk level significantly by operating in a safe and responsible manner, in accordance with The Liquor and Gaming Control Act, regulations, and terms and conditions.

The following charts show how the LGA calculates each criterion’s risk score:

1. Compliance History (weight = 3): Based on a five year Record of Operation, the number of breaches dealt with as a written warning or higher are taken into consideration.

Score      Number of Breaches
0            None
1             1 to 3
2            4 to 7
3            More than 7

2. Licence Types (weight = 1.4): Based on the number and type(s) of licences held by the premises.

Score      Licence Type(s)
0            One licence – customer member service or dining room
1             One licence – retail, dining room/lounge or unique hospitality
2            Two licences of any type
3            Three or more licences, or an entertainment facility or beverage room  

3. Premises Size (weight = 1.3): Based on total capacity of all licensed areas.

Score      Capacity
0            Less than 50 people
1             50 to 99 people
2            100 to 300 people
3            More than 300 people

4. Hours of Operation (weight = 1.2): Traditionally, premises that are open later have more risk associated with them. In the case of premises with multiple licences, the one that is open the latest will be considered.

Score      Hours of Operation
0            Breakfast/lunch only. Closed prior to 2:00 p.m.
1             Dinner only. Closed prior to 9:00 p.m.
2            Closed prior to 12:00 a.m.
3            Open later than 12:00 a.m.

5. Entertainment Format / Special Approvals (weight = 1.1): Based on entertainment options or special approvals given to the licensee.

Score      Entertainment Options or Special Approvals
0            None
1             Occasional live music
2            Weekly live music, bottle service approval, or table-top beer dispensers
3            Adult entertainment, or approval to serve liquor in greater volume