License Board Revises Rules

SNOW HILL — The Worcester County Board of License Commissioners (BLC) made a minor overhaul of certain rules and regulations this month, including those governing entertainment, hearings and background checks for applicants.
Many of the changes are housekeeping, but others are more impactful and address issues the BLC has encountered in recent months. For example, there was confusion earlier this fall over what constitutes a disc jockey. The issue in doubt was whether a disc jockey is defined as someone who only plays music or as someone who plays music and interacts with the crowd.
The BLC added a definition to the new regulations under Rule 10 that reads: “A disc jockey is a person, whom introduces and plays music or a person who interacts with customers while playing recorded music.”
Another change to entertainment rules involves the use of “promoters” for bars and restaurants. Promoters are completely forbidden in Worcester County and the new language, under Rule 42, notes that the use of promoters or promotion companies can land a licensee a fine or even a suspension or revocation of their alcoholic beverage license.
“The use of promoters or promotion companies is strictly prohibited,” reads the rule. “The licensee is responsible for the management of the business at all times … At no time should the operation be relinquished to a promoter or promotion company.”
Rule 42 goes on to establish that the advertisements used by promotion companies to endorse a bar, restaurant or store can be considered evidence that the licensee has “relinquished control of the licensed premises.”
Other major changes in the updated regulations affect hearings. A clause concerning fingerprinting has been added under Rule 13, which governs the mandatory criminal background reports on anyone applying for an alcoholic beverage license that must be submitted to the BLC before a new or transfer license hearing. T
The final major change falls under hearing conduct, with Paragraph C now requiring court interpreters for anyone who is “unable to adequately understand or express himself or herself in spoken or written English.” While this covers standard cases like for those who are deaf it also allows applicants for whom English is not a first language, which happens regularly, better avenues of communication.