Procurement Services

Restricted Commodity: Alcohol for events/meals

Certain University hosted or sponsored events may include alcohol, but be aware of some strict rules around serving and buying alcohol. The university's use of funds for entertainment must be compatible with our stewardship responsibility and must have a strong ethical component. We should be able to show that our entertainment expenses are necessary and in the best interest of the public.

Here are some common questions:

What funds can be used to pay for alcohol?

- Federal and State funds cannot be used to pay for alcohol. Generally gift (or opportunity) funds can be used. Check with Accounting to see which of your department accounts may be used.

Who can serve alcohol at our UC event?

- The best option is to hire a catering company with an ABC license to serve. All servers must be ABC certified, be 18 or over if serving alcohol is incidental to the overall services (such as serving food), while bartenders strictly serving drinks must be 21 and over. Anyone serving cannot consume alcohol while working the event. An excellent way to reduce the risk exposure that alcohol consumption creates for the University is to transfer the responsibility of providing and serving the alcohol to a licensed and insured hotel, restaurant, or caterer. 

Can we use UC students to serve alcohol at our UC event?

- No.

Is the campus ABC certified?

- No; the UC is not ABC certified, and does not have an campus-wide alcohol license. While certain single-use permits can be granted by the Chancellor, such events must meet the mission of the University and be planned and approved well in advance.

Can we sell alcohol at a UC event?

- No; this is outside the mission of the University and not allowed. Note, UC-operated food facilities (such as The Club) do have a limited liquor license.

Is UC insured for liquor liability?

- Not typically or automatically; please check with Risk Management for further questions.

Anything more I should know about selling or serving alcohol on campus or at a UC event?

- Yes! There are more rules for serving alcohol here: https://www.ehs.ucsb.edu/riskmanagement/use-alcohol