Enforcement and Education

The Washington State Liquor Control Board (WSLCB) Enforcement and Education Division is responsible for enforcing state liquor and tobacco laws and regulations. Officers provide alcohol education to liquor-licensed businesses, communities, and local law enforcement agencies.

enforcementLiquor and tobacco enforcement officers are limited-authority, commissioned law enforcement officers. Enforcement operations include premises visits, compliance checks, undercover operations, and complaint investigations, while educational efforts include liquor law briefings, technical assistance visits, and "Responsible Alcohol and Tobacco Sales" classes.

Division headquarters is in Olympia, while captains, lieutenants, and officers are based out of offices located around the state.

The division includes:

  • Headquarters. Houses the chief, deputy chief, hearings officer, customer service unit, criminal history records investigator, training lieutenant, program manager, management analyst and administrative support.
  • Retail Enforcement. Officers ensure state liquor and tobacco laws and regulations are being followed at licensed businesses such as restaurants, grocery stores, nightclubs and taverns.
  • Non-Retail Enforcement. Officers enforce state liquor laws and regulations that impact non-retail liquor-licensed businesses, including in-state and out-of-state entities that produce, import and distribute alcohol in the state. Examples includes wineries, breweries, distilleries and distributors.
  • Tobacco Tax Unit. Officers enforce the tobacco tax laws of Washington. They inspect cigarette and Other Tobacco Product retailers, wholesalers and distributors, and investigate and halt illegal acquisition and shipments of cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products by persons and businesses not licensed to sell them.