State of California
Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control
HOTELS/MOTELS: COMMONLY ASKED
QUESTIONS ABOUT ABC LAW
How old must an employee be in order to stock controlled access cabinets?
Employees must be 21 years of age or older in order to restock or inventory the alcoholic beverages in a
liquor cabinet (Sectin 23355.2(b)(3) Business & Professions Code).
Q2. May alcoholic beverages be sold or served to a guest in his or her room between 2 a.m. and 6
It is illegal to sell, furnish or permit consumption of alcoholic beverages by guests between 2:00 a.m. and
6:00 a.m. This includes sales or service to guests in their rooms, and the restocking of the controlled
access cabinet. If the hotel has the ability to program a cabinet to lock and unlock between these hours,
they must be kept locked. If the hotel cannot program the cabinets to lock, they must make every effort to
advise their guests of the law and ask them to comply (Sections 25631, 25632 and 23355.2(b)(4)
Business & Professions Code).
Are hotel employees expected to monitor what a guest does in their hotel room?
ABC recognizes that a licensee cannot normally monitor what a guest does in a hotel room (right of
privacy laws, etc.), but hotel employees are not permitted to knowingly allow unlawful sales to be made.
ABC will be reasonable in enforcing this provision.
Q4. What should be done about a group of minors consuming alcoholic beverages in a room?
Hotel management will be responsible for permitting violations of the law; e.g., if a group of minors are
consuming alcoholic beverages in a room with access to a controlled access cabinet, security should be
called upon to remove the alcoholic beverages or minors.
Q5. What can hotel employees do to prevent minors and obviously intoxicated guests from
consuming alcoholic beverages in their rooms?
A key to a controlled access cabinet can only be given to a guest who is 21 years of age or older and not
obviously intoxicated. Rooms with unlocked cabinets cannot be rented to a