Liquor Control


The mission of the Department of Liquor Control (DLC) is to provide licensing, wholesale and retail sales of beverage alcohol products, enforcement and effective education and training programs, while promoting moderation and responsible behavior in all phases of distribution and consumption. The department diligently promotes, enforces and obeys all laws and regulations governing beverage alcohol while generating revenue for the benefit of Montgomery County’s General Fund.


The total recommended FY16 Operating Budget for the Department of Liquor Control is $59,332,248, an increase of $3,063,507 or 5.4 percent from the FY15 Approved Budget of $56,268,741. Personnel Costs comprise 52.5 percent of the budget for 294 full-time positions and 160 part-time positions, and a total of 426.72 FTEs. Total FTEs may include seasonal or temporary positions and may also reflect workforce charged to or from other departments or funds. Operating Expenses, Capital Outlay, and Debt Service account for the remaining 47.5 percent of the FY16 budget.

The above projections and proposed expenditures form the basis for working capital decisions concerning the Liquor Enterprise Fund.

The following information is provided to facilitate County Council and public input for final County Executive decisions on the determination of adequate working capital within, and use of resources in, the Liquor Enterprise Fund and net proceeds to be deposited to the General Fund. Consistent with Article 2B, Section 15-207, the County Executive must make resource allocation decisions for the Fund.


While this program area supports all eight of the County Result Areas, the following are emphasized:

  • A Responsive, Accountable County Government
  • Healthy and Sustainable Neighborhoods
  • Safe Streets and Secure Neighborhoods
  • Strong and Vibrant Economy


Performance measures for this department are included below, with multi-program measures displayed at the front of this section and program-specific measures shown with the relevant program. The FY15 estimates reflect funding based on the FY15 approved budget. The FY16 and FY17 figures are performance targets based on the FY16 recommended budget and funding for comparable service levels in FY17.


  • In FY16, Liquor Control will make a transfer of $24.5 million to the General Fund and will make $11 million in debt service payments on Liquor Control Revenue Bonds for a total of $35.5 million.
  • DLC total sales for FY14 were $266.6 million. This represents growth over the previous year of 3.8%. Montgomery County DLC-operated retail liquor and wine stores had sales of $127.2 million – an annual increase of 3.9%.Warehouse/wholesale sales amounted to $139.4 million. Sales to licensees (both on and off premise) were up nearly 3.7% over last year. The wholesale beer business grew by 5.1% -- fueled by the continuing robust interest in craft beers and micro-brews.
  • DLC opened two new stores in Clarksburg and Seneca Meadows to serve the rapidly growing Clarksburg and Germantown areas and relocated Montgomery Village store to a more desirable location.
  • The County Executive created a “Nighttime Economy Task Force” to develop specific recommendations for facilitating responsible growth in this area. Several legislative initiatives resulted from the work of the task force,and DLC was actively involved in drafting and promoting these changes. The laws adopted by the Maryland General Assembly took effect on July 1st, and include:
  • longer hours of operation for some licensees
  • new license categories such as the performing arts license
  • modified residency requirements for license applicants
  • update to the food to alcohol ratios- the ability of salons, art galleries and other non-traditional licensed retailers to serve alcohol
  • increased flexibility and expanded self-distribution rights for local micro-breweries and wineries
  • In FY16, DLC will open three new retail stores in currently underserved areas of the County generating at least $1.8 million in additional net profit.

Productivity Improvements

  • DLC continued through the year to develop its much-anticipated Oracle ERP system, which went live on February 1, 2015. Once fully operational, this system will dramatically improve many of the department's business processes and operational practices as it offers tighter inventory controls, County-approved inventory valuation methodology, and enhanced reporting capabilities which enable customers, suppliers and employees access to more valuable information.


Contact Lynn Duncan of the Department of Liquor Control at 240.777.1915 or Dennis Hetman of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2770 for more information regarding this department's operating budget.