I volunteer at a new 501c3 art studio in Washington state where you pay to have space to do art. The organization policy is no alcohol on the grounds unless we have a special event with a liquor license.

Trouble is artists bring a wide variety of drinks and there are so many available on every end of the spectrum. Fermented tea now has some alcohol. It is hard to police when you don't know what is in drinks.

My question is what are the laws regarding customers bringing in alcoholic beverages? Are there % limits? Who's to blame if we disallow it? Does it have to be posted (we are already ending up with a lot of postings)?

2 Answers 2


They need only take " reasonable measures", which is fairly subjective sounding... I know... But it just means that it's a fact dependent analysis taking into consideration all of the facts that are readily available. So, for example, it would be a different burden if you had 10,000 people coming, vs 10.

If you post a sign saying no alcohol allowed on premises and you keep an eye out for blatant violations and deal w/ them accordingly you're fine. You're not duty bound to ensure that not a drop makes it in. It's basically meant to just keep you from serving it while not paying the higher licensing fee.


From http://www.liq.wa.gov/licensing/apply-liquor-license

If your business deals with the importation, manufacture, distribution or sale of alcohol in Washington State, you need a liquor license.

Which explains why you need a licence for events. However, if you are not doing the above this is not a public matter.

As the owner of the premises you have the right to make rules for visitors. If people break the rules you can require them to leave and/or prohibit them from returning for a given period.

One of those rules can be a prohibition on alcohol. Natural justice would require that you make your visitors aware of your rules before you take any enforcement action.

As to how aggressive you are in policing your rules: that's a policy decision for you.

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