Ministry of Justice

Liquor Control and Licensing Branch (LCLB)

Liquor Seizures

Under B.C. law, police officers and liquor inspectors may seize illicit liquor from a licensed establishment if the liquor is being kept on the premises unlawfully – for example, if there is no record of the owner having purchased the liquor through the Liquor Distribution Branch.

Police may also seize liquor from individuals if they believe the liquor is being unlawfully possessed or kept. This might mean seizing liquor from someone who possesses open liquor or who is selling or drinking liquor in a public place or someone who is driving with an open liquor bottle in the car.

If your liquor was seized

  • Liquor that has been seized will either be immediately destroyed or kept in storage for 30 days.
  • If you want to have your liquor returned or be compensated if it was destroyed, you have 30 days from the time your liquor was seized to apply in writing to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch general manager.
  • Your claim must demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch general manager that you were legally entitled to possess the liquor.

Compensation is calculated by using the Liquor Distribution Branch retail list price of the liquor.

A person wanting to apply for the return of seized liquor can do so by letter, e-mail or using the following form:

For more information about claiming seized liquor contact the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch.