Functions & Regulations

The function of the Harford County Liquor Control Board is to administer and enforce the provisions of the Alcoholic Beverage Laws as contained in Article 2B, Annotated Code of Maryland and the Board Rules and Regulations as prepared and adopted by the Liquor Control Board of Harford County.

The Board regulates the issuance of all Alcoholic Beverage Licenses, controls the manner in which alcohol is dispersed, prepares and adopts rules and regulations and attempts to obtain respect and obedience of the law.
  1. Board meetings are held approximately fifty times per year. Minutes are prepared from each meeting to include all Board business conducted. All meetings are held in compliance with the State of Maryland Open Meeting Act policy and procedures.
  2. The Board issues all licenses in Harford County, transfers licenses from one person to another, or from one location to another, provides duplicates for lost licenses, issues One Day Licenses for non-profit organizations, and renews alcoholic beverage licenses on an annual basis. Monthly State Reports are generated and submitted to the Comptroller's Office with regard to any license transactions.
  3. All applications for licenses must be advertised, hearings scheduled, property must be posted, protests entertained, and Board decisions advertised. Determination must be made as to the applicant's fitness to hold a license, (of good moral character, financial responsibility, criminal background checks, etc.), the appropriateness of location, that the proper type license has been applied for, that there is pecuniary interest by the applicant, that the proper residential requirement is met, that the required distance away from any church or school is observed, and that all paperwork is procedurally in order.
  4. The Board appoints an Administrator who shall act as secretary-treasurer of the Board, and who shall be the chief business administrative officer of the Board. The Board hires and sets salaries for additional clerical help as necessary and Inspectors for proper enforcement of the laws, rules and regulations.
  5. The Board must oversee collection of all license fees, cause proper records to be kept of the proceeds derived from said fees, fines, etc. Monies collected must be recorded as to the county or municipality in which it is located. The percentage of income is determined for each locality and the same percentage of expenditures are charged each jurisdiction. Any balance of license funds are then proportionately distributed at the conclusion of each license year.
  6. The Board issues Show/cause letters to be forwarded regarding alleged violations, summons witnesses, holds hearings and determines if there is, in fact, a violation. It is then the Board responsibility to make a determination as to the proper penalty, reprimand, fine, suspension or revocation of the license and cause decision letters to be generated. Following these determinations, the Board must report cases to the States Attorney's office in case there is cause for further prosecution. Any Board decision may be appealed to the Circuit Court wherein transcripts of the Board hearing must then be prepared.

In accordance with Article 2B, Section 15-201, Annotated Code of Maryland, the appointment process for a Board member is as follows:
  1. The County Executive shall present a nominee to the Harford County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly for their advice and consent, one name for each vacancy and be presented 60 days prior to the occurrence of the vacancy;
  2. Within seven (7) working days from the receipt of the list from the County Executive, the Harford County Delegation shall consent by approving the nominee or by deleting the nominee. If the Delegation fails to act on the list within the 7 working day period, the nominee is, by operation of the law, automatically consented to as originally submitted by the County Executive;
  3. Within 7 working days of the receipt of the list that was acted upon by the Delegation, the County Executive may replace the nominee that was deleted by the Delegation and may resubmit to the Delegation approval in accordance with paragraph (2);
  4. The County Executive shall submit one (1) of the nominees for each vacancy to the County Council for its advice and consent.
Time for appointment - First Monday in April. One appointment shall expire each year. Tenure of appointment is three (3) years.
Qualifications of members - Members appointed shall be residents and voters of the county, and shall be persons of high character, integrity, and recognized business capacity, as well as, taxpayers of Harford County. The Board shall organize by electing its own chair.

In the case of a vacancy on an appointive board for any reason whatever, it shall be filled for the unexpired term in the same manner as the original appointment. In Harford County, Board shall consist of 5 members.