Chapter 05 - Alcoholic Beverage Control
The rules of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board promulgated in this chapter are pursuant to the authority granted under 27.0503 (1) (A) A.S.C.A.
It is the declared policy of the board in promulgating the rules set out in this chapter to implement the enforcement and administration of Chapter 27.05 A.S.C.A., and to protect not only persons consuming or purchasing alcoholic beverage but to provide for the safety, protection, and furtherance of the general welfare of the people of American Samoa with reference to the consumption, purchase, sale, and importation of beer and alcoholic beverages in American Samoa.
The alcoholic beverage control board will meet at least once a quarter at a time and place to be designated by the chairman. Special meetings may be called at the discretion of the chairman or at the request of at least 2 members of the board. At least 4 members of the board are necessary to constitute a quorum and a majority of those present shall be sufficient to decide any issue.
All persons, whether an individual, a partnership, joint venture or similar entity, or a corporation, who are in compliance with all applicable laws and rules of American Samoa, are eligible for an alcoholic beverage license, beer tavern license, beer vendor’s license, beer importer’s license, alcoholic beverage vendor’s license or alcohol beverage importer’s license.
Application for license will be processed according to the following procedures:
(a) The applicant shall submit an application to the chairman of the alcoholic beverage control board on such form as is prescribed by the board. The form must be completed fully.
(b) Upon receipt by the chairman of the board of the application, the chairman shall set a date, time, and place for a public hearing to hear any objections concerning the application. The hearing shall be a minimum of 15 days from the date of receipt of the application.
(c) Upon receipt of the date, time and place of the public hearing, the applicant shall forth-with post 10 consecutive days before the public hearing on or immediately adjacent to the main entry door to the premises to be used under the license a notice of intent to sell alcoholic beverages or beer upon the premises or to import beer or alcohol on such form as is prescribed by the board. The notice shall be in both the Samoan and English languages and shall contain at a minimum, the following information:
(1) Name of the proposed license;
(2) Nature of the license being applied for;
(3) The date, time and place of the hearing to consider the application; and
(4) A statement that all interested persons may submit objections or other views to the board orally or in writing at the hearing.
(d) At or before the public hearing, the applicant shall present to the board an affidavit or other evidence satisfactory to the board that he has complied with the notice requirement.
(e) At or before the public hearing, the applicant shall also provide certificates, in forms satisfactory to the board, as follows:
(1) From the pulenu’u of the village in which the premises are located, that the village council and himself approve the application;
(2) From the director of public health, that the premises and operation as contemplated will comply with the health and sanitation provisions of the laws of American Samoa;
(3) From the commissioner of public safety, that the location of the premises and parking therefor will not create traffic hazards, and setting forth the applicant’s criminal record, if any;
(4) From the fire chief, that the premises comply with all safety requirements regarding fire equipment, emergency exits, and other safety measures for the public;
(5) From the building inspector, that the premises comply with the building laws of American Samoa for the type of occupancy for which it is to be used;
(6) From the director of development planning, that the use of the premises as contemplated is permitted in the zone in which the premises are located under the laws of American Samoa; and
(7) From the attorney general or chief immigration officer, that the applicant is a United States national, or an American Samoan, permanent resident, or otherwise eligible with respect to the immigration laws of American Samoa for the license.
(f) Notwithstanding the foregoing procedures, the board may, upon the written approval of at least 4 members, approve a temporary license to sell alcoholic beverages or beer upon the premises in connection with single fundraising events licensed under the laws of American Samoa.
The board shall consider all objections to issuance of the license. If, after consideration of all evidence presented at the public hearing, the board finds that issuance of a license will not be detrimental to the public interest or the health, safety, and welfare of the people of American Samoa, the board may authorize a license to the applicant. Nothing herein shall limit the board’s power to impose conditions upon issuance of the license in addition to those required by the fire chief, public health officer, building inspector, or commissioner of public safety if, after consideration of the matter, the board finds that such additional requirements are necessary for the protection of patrons or the general public.
The board may refuse any applicant if it has reasonable grounds to believe:
(1) that the granting of a license in the locality set out in the application is not consistent with public interest or convenience; proposed location within 50 yards of any public school, private school authorized by the director of education, or church is prima facie evidence of inconsistency with public interest or convenience;
(2) that any applicant to sell for consumption on the premises has been financed or furnished with money or property or has any connection with a member or members of the board;
(3) that the applicant has been convicted at any time of a felony;
(4) that the applicant has maintained a noisy, lewd, disorderly, or unsanitary establishment;
(5) that the applicant did not have a previous good record of compliance with the alcoholic beverage laws of American Samoa and the rules of the board;
(6) that the applicant is not eligible under the provisions of 27.0505;
(7) that the applicant is unable to understand the alcoholic beverage control laws of American Samoa or rules of the board pursuant thereto;
(8) that the applicant is substantially under the direction and control, through family or other relationship, of mother person, whether an individual, a member of a partnership, joint venture, or similar entity or an owner of a corporation connected with the refused original license or a revoked or suspended license;
(9) the applicant has failed to meet any other requirement determined ; necessary by the board.
Any license granted by the board shall be:
(1) purely a personal privilege;
(2) valid until suspended, or revoked by action of the board provided the annual license fees as required by 27.0211 and 27.0240 A.S.C.A., are paid.
The board does not contemplate that any person will be manufacturing beer, or alcoholic beverages in American Samoa for some time. Therefore, the board has not promulgated rules in relation to the manufacture of beer or alcoholic beverages. Should an application be received for manufacture of alcoholic beverages or beer, the board will promulgate rules governing the applications.
Licensees are at all times responsible for the conduct of their business and are at all times directly responsible for any act or conduct of any employee which is in violation of Chapter 27.05 A.S.C.A., or the rules of the board, whether the licensee is present at any such time or not. This section is defined to mean that any unlawful, unauthorized, or prohibited act on the part of any agent or employee shall be construed as the act of the employer and the employer shall be proceeded against as though he were present and had an active part in such unlawful, unauthorized, or prohibited act and as if the act has been at the employer’s direction and with his knowledge.
Regarding licenses which permit consumption of beer or alcoholic beverages on the premises, the licensee or an authorized representative capable of maintaining peace and good order shall be on the premises at all times the establishment shall be open for business. The individual performing this function must be mature and in strong physical condition appropriate to the task.
Any licensee desiring to change the location of his business must make application for such change to the board. Such application shall contain a statement that he owns or has proper lease on the premises and shall contain such other information as the board requires, including a copy of the new lease if such premises are leased. No licensee shall change the location of his place of business unless and until the board endorses on the license that such licensee has approval of such change of location.
If at any time hereafter it is made to appear to this board that any licensee or employee of any licensee has sold or permitted to be sold to any person under the age of 21 any beer or alcoholic beverage, or permitted a person under the age of 21 to be on the premises without his parent or guardian, or has allowed anyone to become intoxicated or has sold or permitted to be sold any beer or alcoholic beverage to any intoxicated person on the premises, it shall be deemed to have been done knowingly by such licensee or his employee and the licensee shall upon proper notice and hearing have his license suspended pursuant to Article VI of this Chapter.
Beer vendors’ licenses and alcoholic beverage vendors’ licenses are for consumption off premises only and there shall be no alcoholic beverage or beer consumed within 50 yards of a licensed premises.
No licensee shall prohibit any person, authorized by the board or the commissioner of public safety, director of public works, or director of health, or their authorized representatives, to enter the premises of the licensee for purposes of making an inspection to determine whether the licensee is operating in compliance with this chapter and laws in effect in American Samoa.
(a) Alcohol Beverage Vendors. If the premises for which an alcohol beverage vendors’ license is issued is not used exclusively for the sale of liquor, then a space upon said premises shall be set aside in a manner approved by the board exclusively for the display and sale of liquor. Liquor display and sales shall only be conducted from that approved segregated, space and minors shall be strictly prohibited therefrom. Records of liquor sales by alcohol beverage vendors must be segregated from records of all other sales and maintained in a manner approved by the board. Licensees shall file with the board quarterly sale reports at the treasurer’s office.
(b) Alcohol Beverage Importers. If the premises for which an alcohol beverage importer’s license is issued is not used exclusively for the importation of liquor, then a space upon said premises shall be set aside in a manner approved by the board exclusively for the importation, wholesale display and wholesale sale of liquors. Wholesale liquor sales and display shall be conducted only from that approved segregated space and minors are to be prohibited therefrom, and such sales shall be made only to those license holders so authorized by statute and not to any other individuals or entities. Import records and records of liquor sales by alcohol beverage importers must be segregated from records of all other sales and maintained in a manner approved by the board. Licensees shall file with the board quarterly sales reports at the treasurer’s office.
A person must be 21 years of age or over to be qualified to purchase beer or alcoholic beverages.
The board may revoke or suspend any license if it finds or has reasonable grounds to believe that the licensee or any of his employees:
(1) has violated any provision of Chapter 27.05 A.S.C.A., or any lawful rule promulgated by the board;
(2) has made any false representation or statement to the board in order to induce or prevent action by the board;
(3) maintains a noisy, lewd, disorderly, or unsanitary establishment;
(4) knowingly has sold alcoholic beverages to persons under 21 years of age, to persons known to be drunkards, or to persons visibly intoxicated at the time of sale;
(5) any other reason which, in the opinion of the board, based on public interest, warrants canceling or suspending such license.
The board shall furnish notice of hearing to suspend or revoke any license to the licensee or, in the event of the licensee’s absence from American Samoa, the person in charge of licensed premises, by personally serving a copy of the notice on the licensee or person in charge of the licensed premises in the event of the licensee’s absence from American Samoa. The notice shall serve at least 7 days prior to the date set for hearing and shall include the time, place, purpose of hearing, and a clear, concise statement of the basis of the board’s intended action.
No license shall be suspended without a hearing as provided for in this article unless the board determines that the public welfare requires emergency action, and incorporates such a finding in its order. Under this section the board may order a summary suspension of a license for a period nor to exceed 120 days pending other action,
Any licensee who fails to appear before the board as directed to present a defense to the offense alleged after having been first given proper notice of contemplated suspension or revocation of his license by reason of an alleged violation of the law or rules, then the board may proceed with suspension or revocation if it appears, after having heard the evidence, that the violation did in fact occur, whether or not such licensee appears before the board on the date of the hearing.
A licensee may be prosecuted for any violation of the law in addition to the penalties provided under this chapter.
The agency hearing procedures prescribed by 4.1025 through 4.1034 A.S.C.A., shall be followed in all proceedings before the board for the suspension or revocation of a license.
“Import” means to bring into or cause to bring into American Samoa and, as used in this article, pertains to beer and alcoholic beverages.
Except as otherwise provided by this chapter and laws in effect in American Samoa, the im¬portation of any beer or alcoholic beverage into the territory of American Samoa is prohibited.
Any person entering American Samoa may have in possession not more than 1 gallon of alcoholic beverage, provided that such beverage is unopened in the container in which it was retailed.