125.12(5) (5)Revocations or suspensions of, or refusals to renew, permits by the division.
125.12(5)(a) (a) The division may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew any retail permit issued by it for the causes provided in sub. (4) and any other permit issued by it under this chapter for any violation of this chapter or ch. 139, except that, for a violation of s. 125.535 or 139.035, the division shall revoke the permit, and the division shall revoke a fulfillment house permit as provided in s. 125.23 (6) (b) and may revoke a common carrier permit as provided in s. 125.22 (3) (b).
Effective date note NOTE: Par. (a) is shown as amended eff. 1-1-25 by 2023 Wis. Act 146. Prior to 1-1-25 it reads:
Effective date text (a) The division may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew any retail permit issued by it for the causes provided in sub. (4) and any other permit issued by it under this chapter for any violation of this chapter or ch. 139, except that, for a violation of s. 125.535 or 139.035, the division shall revoke the permit.
125.12(5)(b) (b) The division may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, revoke any permit issued under s. 125.27 (5) or 125.51 (5) (f) to a person designated by the owner or operator of racetrack grounds as provided in s. 125.27 (5) (b) or 125.51 (5) (f) 2. if the person's designation has terminated or the owner or operator of the racetrack grounds has otherwise rescinded the person's designation.
125.12(5)(bm) (bm) The division may, after notice and an opportunity for hearing, revoke, suspend, or refuse to renew any permit issued by it under this chapter if the permittee has shipped alcohol beverages to any person in another state in violation of that state's law.
125.12(5)(c) (c) A revocation, suspension, or refusal to renew a permit under par. (a), (b), or (bm) is a contested case under ch. 227.
125.12(6) (6)Revocation or suspension of intoxicating liquor wholesalers' permits for certain violations.
125.12(6)(a) (a) Any person may file a sworn written complaint with the division alleging that an intoxicating liquor wholesaler has violated s. 125.54 (7) (a). The complaint shall identify the specific legal basis for the complaint and sufficient facts for the division to determine whether there is cause to find that a violation has occurred. The division shall provide a copy of the complaint to any wholesaler against whom allegations are made, along with notice of the time period under par. (b) to show cause why the wholesaler's permit should not be revoked or suspended or to request a hearing.
125.12(6)(b) (b) Within 30 days of receiving a copy of the complaint under par. (a), any wholesaler against whom allegations are made may file a sworn written response or a written request for an evidentiary hearing before the division under s. 227.44.
125.12(6)(c) (c) Subject to pars. (d) 1. and (dm), if no request for an evidentiary hearing is made under par. (b), within 60 days of receiving any response under par. (b) or, if no response is made, within 60 days of the date on which a response or request for hearing is due under par. (b), the division shall make a written decision as to whether a violation has occurred and either dismiss the complaint or take action under par. (e). Any decision under this paragraph shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law and shall state all reasons for the decision. The division shall provide a copy of the decision to the complainant and to any wholesaler against whom allegations are made.
125.12(6)(cm) (cm) Subject to pars. (d) 2. and (dm), if a request for an evidentiary hearing is made under par. (b), the hearing shall be conducted in the manner specified for a contested case under ss. 227.44 to 227.50, except that the hearing shall be conducted within 45 days of receiving the request for hearing under par. (b) and the division shall make its written decision, including whether a violation has occurred and whether the complaint is dismissed or action is taken under par. (e), within 15 days after the hearing. In addition to service of the decision as provided under s. 227.48, the division shall provide a copy of the decision to the complainant.
125.12(6)(d)1.1. If no request for an evidentiary hearing is made under par. (b), within 60 days of receiving any response under par. (b) or, if no response is made, within 60 days of the date on which a response or request for hearing is due under par. (b), the division may extend the time period for making a decision under par. (c) by an additional 60 days if the division provides notice within the time period specified in par. (c) that an additional 60 days is necessary for investigation.
125.12(6)(d)2. 2. If a request for an evidentiary hearing is made under par. (b), within 45 days of receiving the request for hearing under par. (b), the division may extend the time period for conducting the hearing by an additional 45 days if the division provides notice within 45 days of receiving the request for hearing under par. (b) that an additional 45 days is necessary for investigation.
125.12(6)(dm) (dm) Within 45 days of receiving any response or request for hearing under par. (b) or, if no response or request for hearing is made, within 45 days of the date on which a response or request for hearing is due under par. (b), the division may elect to file a complaint in circuit court under sub. (4) that includes all allegations of the complaint under par. (a) for which the division determines there is cause to find that a violation of s. 125.54 (7) (a) has occurred. If the division files a complaint in circuit court as provided under this paragraph, the division shall not conduct a hearing under par. (cm) or make a written decision under par. (c), but shall proceed with the matter as provided under sub. (4).
125.12(6)(e) (e) If the division finds the allegations under par. (a) true and sufficient, the division shall either suspend for not less than 10 days nor more than 90 days or revoke the wholesaler's permit, and give notice of the suspension or revocation to the wholesaler.
125.12(6)(f) (f) A revocation or suspension proceeding under this subsection is a contested case under ch. 227, except that ss. 227.44 to 227.50 apply to a proceeding under this subsection only if a request for an evidentiary hearing is made under par. (b).
125.12(7) (7)Reapplication for permit after revocation. If the division revokes any permit issued under this chapter, the applicant or permit holder may not reapply for the permit for a period of 6 months after the date of the revocation.
125.12 Annotation Discussing due process and equal protection rights of licensees. Tavern League of Wisconsin v. City of Madison, 131 Wis. 2d 477, 389 N.W.2d 54 (Ct. App. 1986).
125.12 Annotation A license never should have been issued when a notice of application had not been published as required under s. 125.04 (3) (g), and a license issued without publication is void under s. 125.04 (2). Selling liquor under a void license constitutes a violation of s. 125.66 (1). Under this section, a renewal licensee, if refused, is guaranteed a right to be heard by the municipality, and the municipality must show cause for refusal, but a new licensee, if refused, has no such guarantee. When an original license is void, the applicant is a new licensee. Williams v. City of Lake Geneva, 2002 WI App 95, 253 Wis. 2d 618, 643 N.W.2d 864, 01-1733.
125.12 Annotation Notices sent by the city did not violate the requirement in sub. (3) that the “council shall notify the licensee in writing of the municipality's intention not to renew the license" because they stated that “there is a possibility that your application may be denied." As the matter cannot be affirmatively decided before the hearing, it is of course only a possibility that the applicant's license will not be renewed at the time the notice is sent. Questions, Inc. v. City of Milwaukee, 2011 WI App 126, 336 Wis. 2d 654, 807 N.W.2d 131, 10-0707.
125.12 Annotation A town must renew a license, if the proper application is made and the fees are paid, unless it revokes, suspends, or non-renews the license, following the procedures outlined in this section. Section 125.10 (1) does not give towns the authority to unilaterally modify the described premises in an individual license upon renewal of that license. A town must either pass a regulation or an ordinance under s. 125.10 or it must find grounds for revocation or nonrenewal under this section. Wisconsin Dolls, LLC v. Town of Dell Prairie, 2012 WI 76, 342 Wis. 2d 350, 815 N.W.2d 690, 10-2900.
125.12 Annotation Acting upon a citizen complaint to revoke a liquor license that was not sworn, as required under sub. (2) (ag), constituted a fundamental error that deprived the licensing committee of jurisdiction over the matter. Park 6 LLC v. City of Racine, 2012 WI App 123, 344 Wis. 2d 661, 824 N.W.2d 903, 11-2282.
125.12 Annotation Certiorari is the correct standard of review for a court to apply when, pursuant to sub. (2) (d), it reviews a municipal decision not to renew an alcohol license. Nowell v. City of Wausau, 2013 WI 88, 351 Wis. 2d 1, 838 N.W.2d 852, 11-1045.
125.12 Annotation Sub. (2) (a) 2.'s prohibition of operating a disorderly house was not unconstitutionally vague as applied in this case. The statute's legislative purpose concerns the health and safety of the public and its enforcement is aimed at public health. There was no doubt that the conduct cited in this case was disorderly, riotous, indecent, or improper. Such behavior falls squarely within the ambit of the statute, particularly given the public health and safety concerns involved. Hegwood v. City of Eau Claire, 676 F.3d 600 (2012).
125.13 125.13 Report of suspension, revocation, or imposition of penalty. Whenever a municipal governing body or court revokes or suspends a license or permit or imposes a penalty on a licensee or permittee for the violation of this chapter, the clerk of the municipality or court revoking or suspending the license or imposing the penalty shall, within 10 days after the revocation, suspension, or imposition of penalty, mail a report to the division at Madison, Wisconsin, giving the name of the licensee, the address of the licensed premises, and a full description of the penalty imposed.
125.13 History History: 1981 c. 79; 2023 a. 73.
125.14 125.14 Enforcement provisions.
125.14(1)(1)Arrest. Subject to s. 175.38, any peace officer may arrest without warrant any person committing in his or her presence a violation of this chapter or ch. 139 and may, without a search warrant, seize any personal property used in connection with the violation.
125.14(2) (2)Confiscation; disposal.
125.14(2)(a) (a) Contraband. All alcohol beverages owned, possessed, kept, stored, manufactured, sold, distributed or transported in violation of this chapter or ch. 139 and all personal property used in connection therewith is unlawful property and may be seized by any peace officer. Any peace officer confiscating personal property under this section may proceed under this section.
125.14(2)(c) (c) Identification. Any person seizing alcohol beverages or personal property and electing to dispose of it under this subsection shall exercise reasonable diligence to ascertain the name and address of the owner of the alcohol beverages or property and of all persons holding a security interest in the property seized. The person shall report his or her findings in writing to the division.
125.14(2)(d) (d) Order. Upon conviction of any person for owning, possessing, keeping, storing, manufacturing, selling, distributing, or transporting alcohol beverages in violation of this chapter or ch. 139, the court shall order part or all of the alcohol beverages or personal property seized to be destroyed if it is unfit for sale. Alcohol beverages and other personal property fit for sale shall be turned over to the division for disposition. Upon receipt of the confiscated property, the division shall exercise reasonable diligence to ascertain the names and addresses of all owners of the property and of all persons holding a security interest in the property. If a motor vehicle is confiscated, the division shall obtain the written advice of the department of transportation as to the ownership of the motor vehicle and shall make a reasonable search for perfected security interests in the vehicle.
125.14(2)(e) (e) Disposal. The division shall dispose of the alcohol beverages turned over to it by the court by either giving it to law enforcement agencies free of charge for use in criminal investigations, selling it to the highest bidder if the bidder is a person holding a license or permit issued under this chapter, or destroying it, at the discretion of the division. If the division elects to sell the alcohol beverages, it shall publish a class 2 notice under ch. 985 asking for sealed bids from qualified bidders. Any items or groups of items in the inventory subject to a security interest, the existence of which was established in the proceedings for conviction as being bona fide and as having been created without the secured party having notice that the items were being used or were to be used in connection with the violation, shall be sold separately. The net proceeds from the sale, less all costs of seizure, storage, and sale, shall be turned over to the secretary of administration and credited to the common school fund.
125.14(2)(f) (f) Sale. Any personal property, other than alcohol beverages, seized under par. (a) and fit for sale, shall be turned over by the division to the department of administration for disposal at public auction to the highest bidder, at a time and place stated in a notice of sale which describes the property to be sold. The sale shall be held in a conveniently accessible place in the county where the property was confiscated. A copy of the notice shall be published as a class 2 notice under ch. 985. The last insertion shall be at least 10 days before the sale. The division shall serve a copy of the notice of sale at least 2 weeks before the date thereof on all persons who are or may be owners or holders of security interests in the property. Any confiscated property worth more than $100 shall be sold separately, and the balance of the confiscated property shall be sold in bulk or separately at the discretion of the department of administration. The net proceeds from the sale, less all costs of seizure, storage, and sale, shall be turned over to the secretary of administration. No motor vehicle or motorboat confiscated under this section may be sold within 30 days after the date of seizure.
125.14(3) (3)Recovery of confiscated property.
125.14(3)(a)(a) Application. Prior to sale under sub. (2) (f), the owner of confiscated property may apply to a court of record in the county where the property was seized for an order restoring the property to the owner. After the sale, the owner may apply to the court for a refund of the amount realized on the sale. After the sale, any holder of a security interest in the property may apply to the court for a refund of the sum realized on the sale of property subject to the security interest, but not more than the amount due under the security agreement.
125.14(3)(b) (b) Deadline. The application shall be made within one year after the sale of the property. A copy of the application and the order setting a hearing on it shall be served on the division at least 20 days before the date set for hearing.
125.14(3)(c) (c) Grounds. Relief shall be granted only after a showing by the applicant that he or she is the true owner or holder of a bona fide security interest in the property seized; that the violation which led to the confiscation was not with his or her knowledge, consent or connivance; and, that he or she had no reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that the property would be used in a violation.
125.14(3)(d) (d) Costs. The court may determine whether the applicant shall pay the costs of seizure and sale as a condition of obtaining relief. Allowance of costs and disbursements shall be within the discretion of the court.
125.14(5) (5)Nuisances. Any building or place where alcohol beverages or alcohol is sold, possessed, stored, brewed, bottled, manufactured or rectified without a valid permit or license issued under this chapter or ch. 139, or where persons are permitted to drink alcohol beverages in violation of this chapter is a public nuisance and may be closed until the activity in violation of this chapter is abated. When the activity is abated, the building or place may be used for any lawful purpose.
125.14(6) (6)Procedure.
125.14(6)(a) (a) Form of complaint. In a prosecution for a violation of a statute relating to the sale of alcohol beverages it is not necessary to allege in the complaint, information or indictment the kind or quantity of alcohol beverages sold or the person to whom it was sold. It is sufficient to allege generally that the defendant sold alcohol beverages at a time and place mentioned, together with a brief statement of the facts showing that the sale was a violation of this chapter.
125.14(6)(b) (b) Discovery. In a prosecution for a violation of this chapter that may result in the imposition of a forfeiture, neither party is entitled to pretrial discovery, except that, if the defendant moves within 30 days after the initial appearance in person or by an attorney and shows cause therefor, the court may order that the defendant be allowed to inspect documents, including lists of names and addresses of witnesses, if available, and to test under s. 804.09, under such conditions as the court prescribes, any devices used by the plaintiff to determine whether a violation has been committed.
125.145 125.145 Prosecutions by attorney general or division. Upon request by the division, the attorney general may represent this state or assist a district attorney in prosecuting any case arising under this chapter. The division may represent this state in prosecuting any violation of s. 125.54 (7) (a) or (b) and shall bring any such action in the circuit court for Dane County.
125.145 History History: 1985 a. 302; 2005 a. 25; 2023 a. 73.
125.15 125.15 Actions against intoxicating liquor wholesalers.
125.15(1)(1)An intoxicating liquor wholesaler, intoxicating liquor retail licensee or permittee, or intoxicating liquor trade association that makes a written complaint to the division under s. 125.12 (6) of a violation of s. 125.54 (7) (a) may bring an action to enforce the provisions of s. 125.54 (7) if any of the following apply:
125.15(1)(a) (a) The division has not rendered a decision within the time periods specified in s. 125.12 (6) (c) to (d).
125.15(1)(b) (b) The division has rendered a decision under s. 125.12 (6) in which the division has determined that a violation has occurred but no action has been brought in circuit court by the division, attorney general, or a district attorney to prosecute the violation.
125.15(2) (2)An intoxicating liquor wholesaler, intoxicating liquor retail licensee or permittee, or intoxicating liquor trade association that brings an action under sub. (1) shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorney fees if found to be the prevailing party.
125.15 History History: 2005 a. 25; 2023 a. 73.
125.16 125.16 Actions to recover price denied. No action may be brought to recover the price of any alcohol beverages sold in violation of this chapter or ch. 139.
125.16 History History: 1981 c. 79.
125.17 125.17 Issuance of operators' licenses.
125.17(1)(1)Authorization. Every municipal governing body shall issue an operator's license to any applicant who is qualified under s. 125.04 (5), except that the municipal governing body may by ordinance authorize a designated municipal official to issue operator's licenses. Operators' licenses may not be required other than for the purpose of complying with ss. 125.32 (2) and 125.68 (2) or s. 125.06 (3g). Operators' licenses may be issued only upon written application.
125.17(2) (2)Validity. Operators' licenses are valid only within the issuing municipality.
125.17(3) (3)Fee. The municipal governing body shall establish by ordinance a fee for the operator's license. Except as provided under sub. (4), a license shall be valid for one or 2 years, as determined by the municipal governing body, and shall expire on June 30, except in 1st class cities the license shall expire on December 31.
125.17(4) (4)Temporary license. Any municipal governing body or designated municipal official may issue a temporary operator's license under the terms of subs. (1) to (3), except that:
125.17(4)(a) (a) This license may be issued only to operators employed by, or donating their services to, nonprofit corporations.
125.17(4)(b) (b) No person may hold more than 2 licenses of this kind per year.
125.17(4)(c) (c) The license is valid for any period from one day to 14 days, and the period for which it is valid shall be stated on the license.
125.17(5) (5)Provisional license.
125.17(5)(a)1.1. A municipal governing body that issues operators' licenses shall issue provisional operators' licenses. Subject to subd. 2., the municipal governing body may by ordinance establish standards under which provisional licenses shall be issued and shall by ordinance designate the municipal official having authority to issue them.
125.17(5)(a)2. 2. Subject to pars. (b) to (e), a municipal governing body that issues operators' licenses shall issue a provisional operator's license to a person who, at the time of application for an operator's license under sub. (1) and payment of the fee under sub. (3), files a certified copy of a valid operator's license issued by another municipality.
125.17(5)(b) (b) A provisional license may be issued only to a person who has applied for an operator's license under sub. (1). A provisional license may not be issued to any person who has been denied a license under sub. (1) by the municipal governing body or designated municipal official.
125.17(5)(c) (c) The municipal governing body shall establish the fee for a provisional license. The fee may not exceed $15.
125.17(5)(d)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 2., a provisional license expires 60 days after its issuance or when a license under sub. (1) is issued to the holder, whichever is sooner.
125.17(5)(d)2. 2. A provisional license issued under par. (a) 2. expires as provided under subd. 1. or upon expiration of the operator's license issued by another municipality and filed under par. (a) 2., whichever is sooner.
125.17(5)(e) (e) The official who issued the provisional license may revoke the license if he or she discovers that the holder of the license made a false statement on the application or, if the provisional license is issued under par. (a) 2., if the official determines that the operator's license issued by another municipality and filed under par. (a) 2. is not valid or upon denial of the person's application for an operator's license under sub. (1).
125.17(6) (6)Training course.
125.17(6)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), no municipal governing body or designated municipal official may issue an operator's license unless the applicant has successfully completed a responsible beverage server training course at any location that is offered by a technical college district and that conforms to curriculum guidelines specified by the technical college system board or a comparable training course, which may include computer-based training and testing, that is approved by the division or the department of safety and professional services, or unless the applicant fulfills one of the following requirements:
125.17(6)(a)1. 1. The person is renewing an operator's license.
125.17(6)(a)2. 2. Within the past 2 years, the person held a Class “A", “Class A" or “Class C" license or a Class “B" or “Class B" license or permit or a manager's or operator's license.
125.17(6)(a)3. 3. Within the past 2 years, the person has completed such a training course.
125.17(6)(b) (b) A municipal governing body or designated municipal official shall issue a provisional operator's license to a person who is enrolled in a training course under par. (a) and who meets the standards established by the municipality by ordinance, if any. The municipal governing body shall revoke that license if the applicant fails successfully to complete the course in which he or she enrolls.
125.17(6)(c) (c) No municipal governing body may require that applicants for operators' licenses undergo training in addition to that under par. (a) but may require applicants to purchase at cost materials that deal with relevant local subjects not covered in the course under par. (a).
125.175 125.175 Issuance of operators' permits.
125.175(1)(1)Subject to sub. (4), the division shall issue an operator's permit to any applicant who is qualified under s. 125.04 (5). Operators' permits may not be required other than for the purpose of complying with ss. 125.32 (2) and 125.68 (2) or s. 125.06 (3g). Operators' permits may be issued only upon written application.
125.175(2) (2)Operators' permits are valid in all municipalities in this state.
125.175(3) (3)The division shall establish a fee for issuance or renewal of an operator's permit and shall determine whether the permit shall be valid for one or 2 years.
125.175(4) (4)
125.175(4)(a)(a) The division may not issue an operator's permit unless the applicant satisfies the criteria for issuance of an operator's license specified in s. 125.17 (6) (a). In applying these criteria to an applicant who holds or previously held an operator's permit or an operator's license, the division shall treat as synonymous operators' permits and operators' licenses.
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2021-22 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2023 Wis. Act 272 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on June 19, 2024. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after June 19, 2024, are designated by NOTES. (Published 6-19-24)