Section 28-11-9

Suspension or revocation of permit; hearing commission; fines.

(a) Subject to the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 22 of Title 41, the board shall have full and final authority as to the suspension or revocation for cause of any permit issued pursuant to this chapter.

(1) The board may appoint a hearing commission of at least three persons which may do all of the following:

a. Hear and decide all contested applications for permits.

b. Hear and decide all charges against any permit holder or employee of a permit holder for violations of this chapter, the law, or the rules of the board.

c. Revoke or suspend permits as provided in this chapter.

d. Levy administrative fines upon permit holders or employees of permit holders.

(2) No member of the hearing commission shall participate in the hearing or disposition of any application for a permit or charge against a permit holder or an employee of a permit holder if he or she has an interest therein or was involved in the investigation.

(b) The board, or a hearing commission appointed by the board, upon finding that a permit holder or any partner, member, employee, officer, or director of the permit holder has violated any of the laws of this state or the United States relating to the manufacture, sale, possession, or transportation of tobacco, tobacco products, electronic nicotine delivery systems, or alternative nicotine products, or that the permit holder has acted in a manner prejudicial to the welfare, health, peace, temperance, and safety of the people of the community or of the state, may upon due notice and hearing, levy administrative fines or suspend or revoke the permit issued by the board, or a combination of all three. In all cases where the board or hearing commission shall levy an administrative fine or suspend or revoke a permit, it shall set forth its findings of fact, the evidence from which the findings of facts are made, and the reasons upon which its actions are based.

(c) The fines as specified in subsection (e) shall be applicable per each violation. The permit holder or employee shall remit the administrative fine to the board within seven calendar days from the day that the administrative fine is levied. Failure by the permit holder to pay the administrative fine within that time period shall result in an automatic suspension of the permit until the administrative fine is paid.

(d) The maximum length of suspension of a permit pursuant to this chapter shall be one year. A permit holder shall be ineligible to hold a permit pursuant to this chapter for the location where the violation occurred until the expiration or removal of the suspension. A permit holder whose permit is revoked by the board or the hearing commission shall be, at the discretion of the board or hearing commission, ineligible to hold a permit pursuant to this chapter until the expiration of one year from the date the permit is revoked at the location where the violation occurred.

(e) The following administrative fines may be levied for violations of this chapter against valid permit holders or employees, or both:

(1) Upon conviction for a first violation by the permit holder or an employee of the permit holder, the board or hearing commission may offer the permit holder an opportunity to provide training sessions administered by the Responsible Vendor Program in lieu of an administrative fine upon the permit holder and the employee, if the violation is by an employee, of not more than two hundred dollars ($200).

(2) Upon conviction of a second violation at the same location within a two-year period, the board or hearing commission may levy an administrative fine upon the permit holder and the employee, if the violation is by an employee, of not more than four hundred dollars ($400).

(3) Upon conviction of a third or subsequent violation at the same location within a two-year period, the board or hearing commission may levy an administrative fine upon the permit holder and the employee, if the violation is by an employee, of not more than seven hundred fifty dollars ($750).

(4) Upon conviction of a fourth or subsequent violation at the same location within a two-year period, the board or hearing commission may levy an administrative fine upon the permit holder and the employee, if the violation is by an employee, of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) and may suspend or revoke the permit.

(f) Before imposition of any administrative fine, the permit holder shall be afforded all procedural rights to due process in addition to those rights guaranteed by the Alabama Administrative Procedure Act, Chapter 22 of Title 41.

(Acts 1997, No. 97-423, p. 721, §9; Act 2019-233, §2.)