Do I need a permit to sell or serve alcohol?

The sale or furnishing of alcoholic beverages at a public event will require an additional permit from the State Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC). The applicant MUST obtain a Letter of Authorization from the Chief of Police to ABC before they will issue an ABC permit (30-day process). This application can be found at The Organizer may submit this application along with their special event application to the Town Event Specialist for signature from the Chief. The Town Event Specialist will return the signed ABC Letter of Authorization to the organizer upon approval of the event so that the organizer may move forward with obtaining their alcohol permit from ABC.

All alcohol consumption during the event must stay within the permitted area and be clearly defined with barriers such as a beer garden area or road closure. Signs measuring a minimum of 11”x17” must be posted at all exits that read, “No Alcohol past this point.” Security or volunteer staff will also be required at all exits to ensure that alcohol does not leave the permitted area. Private security or LGMS Police Officers may be required based on the number of event attendees (see “What are the security guidelines for events?” in these FAQs). The organizer must provide the following information to the Event Specialist prior to submission of the Letter of Authorization application.

  • Confirm the type(s) and quantity of beverage(s) dispensed per serving
  • How the alcohol will be sold eg. Cash, token, etc.
  • Explanation or a sample of the age identification mechanism, eg. wrist band.

Hours of sale must be approved by the LGMS Police Department. Police may close the sale of alcohol at any time during the event if they determine that these controls are not being adhered to or in the interest of public safety. Please note that the ABC may also visit the event site to determine that their requirements are met. The organizer is responsible for training their event staff to identify when the alcohol should not be served to an individual who is intoxicated.

For more information visit or call (408) 277-1200.

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1. What are some of the event-related costs I can expect?
2. What should be included in my site map?
3. What is an event timeline?
4. What kind of insurance do I need?
5. What are the guidelines around advertising, promotion and notifications?
6. What if my event is in a park?
7. What are the security guidelines for events?
8. What are the first aid guidelines for events?
9. What are the set-up and clean-up event guidelines?
10. Do I need portable toilets?
11. What do I do with the event waste?
12. How do I access power and water for my event?
13. What is an encroachment permit?
14. Do I need a permit to sell or serve alcohol?
15. Do I need a fire permit?
16. Do I need a permit to sell or serve food?
17. What do I need to do for event parking?
18. What if I need to close a road for an event?
19. What is the road closure process?
20. How do I close N. Santa Cruz for an event?
21. What is a Traffic Control Plan (TCP)?
22. What type of equipment do I need to close a road?
23. What are examples of uniform traffic control equipment?