The Oregon Liquor Control Commission
(OLCC) is an agency of the U.S. state
. The OLCC was created by an act of the Oregon Legislative Assembly
as a means of providing control over the distribution, sales and consumption of alcoholic beverages
. To this end, the agency was given the authority to regulate and license those who manufacture, sell or serve alcohol. Oregon is one of 18 states that directly control the sales of alcohol beverages in the U.S.
A five-member board of commissioners meets monthly to set OLCC policy and make decisions in areas such as liquor licenses, rules, contested case hearings and appointments of liquor store agents. The governor appoints and the Senate confirms these commissioners for four-year terms. Each commissioner represents a congressional district and one also represents the restaurant and hospitality industry.
OLCC has three program areas:
- Regulatory Operations issues liquor licenses and alcohol service permits. Licenses are required for anyone who manufactures, distributes or sells alcoholic beverages in Oregon. Service permits are issued to employees who serve alcohol in restaurants, bars, or other businesses. Regulatory Operations also promotes compliance with liquor laws through education and proactive programs for licensees and permittees. This program also focuses on enforcement efforts geared toward reducing underage drinking.
- Merchandising Operations has three divisions: Purchasing, Distribution, and Store Operations. The Merchandising Program operates the state's retail liquor business, including supplying the State's 293 (as of January 2004) authorized liquor stores. It sells Oregonians the distilled beverages they want, while operating a business that is one of the top revenue producers for the state, due to the high prices charged by the OLCC. In fiscal year 2004, the OLCC contributed more than $119 million to Oregon’s general fund and county and city treasuries from the sales of distilled spirits, taxes on beer and wine and other revenue.
- Support Services consists of three divisions: Administration, Administrative Services, and Financial Services. The program provides support and administrative services for OLCC staff and numerous partners.
On April 27, 2006, Teresa Kaiser, director of the Commission, resigned after being charged with driving with a blood alcohol content of .16, twice the legal limit in Oregon.
The OLCC conducts multiple underage undercover decoy alcohol stings
. The OLCC uses Law Enforcement Cadets, and members of Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue
to enter stores and attempt to purchase alcohol. Decoys must provide actual ID to the teller if asked. OLCC puts decoy stings on about every 2 - 4 months.