The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) was created in 1933 by a special session of the Legislature after national prohibition ended. Oregon is a control state with the exclusive right to sell packaged distilled spirits, which are dispersed statewide from a distribution center in Portland and sold in 242 retail liquor stores operated by contracted agents. The agency is headquartered in Portland with regional offices in Bend, Eugene, Medford and Salem.
The OLCC ensures that only qualified people and businesses are licensed to sell and serve alcoholic beverages. Licenses are issued to private businesses such as grocery stores to sell packaged beer and wine, and restaurants, bars and taverns to sell beer, wine and distilled spirits by the glass.
The OLCC works to control underage drinking and alcohol problems with a balanced blend of liquor law enforcement, outreach education, publicity and communication. Much of this is carried out by the agency’s Public Safety Services Program, which includes enforcement and compliance, licensing, and administrative process divisions. OLCC inspectors work extensively with licensees at their premises to help them understand and comply with the laws that govern them. The agency also administers the Alcohol Server Education Program, which focuses on responsible alcohol service. All alcohol servers must complete the training course every five years.
The OLCC also enforces the Bottle Bill. Under this law, any malt or carbonated beverage container sold in Oregon must have a refund value of at least five cents.