ABC Responds to Industry Growth

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Kentucky’s alcohol landscape is changing, and the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC) works daily to ensure that it matches industry growth with exceptional and efficient customer service. ABC has experienced an increase in call volume since SB 11 took effect, fielding approximately 85-105 phone calls each day. In addition, the department reviews and renews licenses for up to 1,400 sites each month. The work volume has not deterred department leadership from giving careful consideration to every application and inquiry received. Once a new locality officially becomes “wet,” ABC assigns a licensing specialist from the department to assist with incoming applications. The local government has the authority to write and approve ordinances, determine local ABC administrators, and impose license fees as authorized by law.


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ABC is responding to changing industry and licensing demands by streamlining procedures and improving internal operations to better assist applicants and licensees. Senate Bill 11, which was signed into law last year, gives greater autonomy to local territories to hold “wet”/“dry” elections and develop alcohol ordinances. The department works with localities across the state to ensure the process is understood and that economic opportunities are maximized.

“Our agency leadership has worked hard to streamline processes and reduce needless redundancies,” said Christine Trout, Commissioner of the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. “We re-routed our phone tree to more efficiently handle inquiries and updated the department’s website to improve the user experience. All of these changes allow our staff to operate with a customer-service mindset so that we can better serve Kentuckians.”

ABC also assists new license applicants and encourages each candidate to simultaneously file the required paperwork with both local and state officials to expedite the licensing process. The department is in the process of implementing an online system for initial license applications, which will be available in April. If a quota license is requested, applicants must also submit an economic impact statement for review by the Distilled Spirits Administrator. The Administrator reviews each statement and makes informed licensing decisions on an individual basis, considering factors such as location, law enforcement, transportation, public sentiment, and the overall economic impact on the region.

ABC reminds all Kentuckians that being a good citizen includes drinking responsibly and never driving under the influence.

For more information on licensing and applications, contact the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control at 502-564-4850 or visit http://abc.ky.gov.