Skip Navigation

review department's performance from CountyStat

Montgomery County Department of Liquor Control

Elements of a Responsible House Policy

A House policy offers practical solutions to common problems faced by licensed establishments. It creates a framework within which your customers can enjoy themselves and your servers can operate. With a good house policy in place, your servers do not have to make difficult judgment calls about who to serve or how to handle a tough situation - they know what to do because their responsibilities and your expectations are clearly spelled out.

The portion of your house policy for customers is a public document that should be posted in highly visible locations as it is a set of house rules concerning customers' entry and behavior while in your establishment. The portion of your house policy for staff is directly related to the portion for customers, in that it communicates management's expectations of staff regarding sale of alcohol and instructions for denying entry and ejecting undesirables. These policies indicate your establishment's responsible serving practices and intention to comply with the law and should be shared with your inspector, the policy, your insurance company, and the community along with your patrons.

The following checklist provides a model to guide you in creating your own house policy. You can modify the list to meet your own specific needs, but three factors are common to all successful policies. In order to work, house policies must be written, communicated to your staff and supported by management. Your staff must know that you will back them if they deny service to an intoxicated customer or ask an unruly guest to leave.

Monitor Your Door

Market Food Actively

Beverage Pricing

Promote Alternative Beverages

Train All Staff

Adopt a Safe Transportation Plan

Never Serve Underage Individuals

Monitor Drinking of Customers

Manage the Intoxicated Individual

Market Your Position

"The goal of our establishment is to be successful by providing responsible, courteous, safe and professional food and beverage service. We are committed to adhering to all liquor laws while assisting customers in their decision to drink responsibly"


Contact Number:




Kathie Durbin
Community Outreach Manager
Department of Liquor Control

Telephone: 240-777-1917



Act responsibly when consuming alcoholic beverages!

For website comments or to report website problems or broken links, please email us.
This email address does not handle service requests or complaints.

Department of Liquor Control • 201 Edison Park Drive • Gaithersburg, MD 20878
240-777-1900 •