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The Challenge to Trump's Character to Hold a Liquor License at Trump DC Hotel

A group of citizens, backed financially by Jerry Hirsch of the Lodestar Foundation, filed a 27-page complaint with the District of Columbia Alcoholic Beverage Control Board challenging President Trump's ability to meet the "good character" test for holding a liquor license. The complaint referred to President Trump as dishonest noting that "the number of such lies is too long to list." 


When President Trump's former lawyer. Michael D. Cohen, entered a guilty plea, the group added 50 pages to their complaint.  At the Board hearing, the lawyer for the group argued that the plea showed that Mr. Trump was guilty of criminal conduct. The Trump organization did not respond to the petition.


The Board rejected the complaint by a 7-0 vote because the guilty plea of a lawyer is not an indication of either criminal charges or guilt.  The license stays with the Trump organization.


The group said that it will file a follow-up letter detailing why the Board was wrong in its decision.


Liquor license suspension.jpg


Liquor licenses are under state and local control and there is generally a "good character" requirement.  Revocation of a license will follow felony convictions in most jurisdictions. However, revocation of a liquor license for indictment would deprive the holders of due process. The things that an cost you a liquor license include (in most jurisdictions):

1.  Not properly checking ID

2. Servers not authorized to serve alcohol (18-20 year olds serving drinks)

3. Staff drinking on the job

4.  Serving drinks in unlicensed areas

5.  Serving drinks to those who are visibly intoxicated

6.  Dram Shop liability -- a patron was served drinks at the bar and then drove and injured someone

7.  Disorderly conduct at the bar

8.  Allowing or not reporting illegal activity (drug use)

9.  Flaws in record-keeping

10.  The felony conviction (this is the character element)



Explain who is in charge of liquor licenses

Discuss what can cause the loss of a liquor license.