Virtual Hearings

The OABCC conducts virtual hearings on violations of Delaware alcohol laws and regulations as well as protested license applications. All hearings are virtual unless otherwise noted.

If you wish to testify during an OABCC hearing, please review the information below.

To ensure order, fairness, and efficiency, OABCC Protest Hearings will be governed by the following protocol:

  1. The purpose of a Protest Hearing is to provide a formal platform for the public to hear the details of specific legal matters and for eligible persons to provide testimony as part of the official hearing record that will inform the final decision of the Commissioner. An applicant for a liquor license has the opportunity to present their case for a license which may include presenting evidence in support of the application, and for the applicant to ask questions of the protesters and to question their evidence. It is also an opportunity for valid protesters to ask questions of the applicant and question their evidence, and to present testimony as to why the license should not be granted.

  2. Members of the public are invited to attend and observe the hearing.

  3. In addition to the Applicant, persons who live or own property within one mile of the premises to be licensed are eligible to appear and testify at a protest hearing. Persons who wish to provide testimony must appear at the hearing; a written statement in lieu of in person attendance will not be considered.

  4. Any documents a party wishes to introduce during the hearing must be received by the Office at least 10 business days prior to the hearing.

Who is eligible to testify at a Protest Hearing?

  • Persons associated with the liquor license that is the subject of the hearing, such as the owners, their attorney, and any expert witnesses they choose to call.
  • Persons who live within 1 mile of the premises and filed an official protest with the OABCC.
  • Persons who live within 1 mile of the premises who did not file an official protest, but have registered to testify.

Any eligible person wishing to offer testimony during the hearing must register no later than noon two days prior to the hearing to be added to the list of persons who will be recognized to speak during the hearing.

Each person who will testify will be asked to formally identify themselves for the record and be sworn in by a court reporter.

In order treat everyone equally and impartially at all OABCC public hearings, each person will be allotted three minutes of time to testify. The time limit will be strictly enforced, to ensure that everyone is treated equally, and that all who want to testify have an opportunity to do so.

Members of the public are invited to attend hearings before the Commissioner on alleged violations of alcohol laws and regulations.

The only persons who are eligible to testify during Violations Hearings are the persons accused of the violations, their lawyers and witnesses, and officials with the Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement, who investigated and issued the violations.

OABCC hearings are formal legal proceedings. There is no public comment portion of the hearing.