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                                                                        State Capitol                                     ABLE News


The ABLE Commission is holding an auction of seized alcoholic products on January 13th,  2011 at 10:00 AM.  This auction will be held to sell one lot of 15,873 units/bottles of spirits/wine/strong beer to the highest bidder.  All bidders must be licensees of the Commission with the appropriate license type for handling this product.  Bids will be accepted through the end of the day on January 12th via paper (sealed bid) or email at ( (prior to midnight); however, once the date of the auction has arrived only participants onsite will be allowed to continue to bid.  A minimum bid of $205,606.11 will be required to start the bidding.  Payment will be accepted via Business Check, Cashier Check, Money Order, or Cash from the winning bidder.    The inventory that is being sold by the Commission at this auction must be removed no later than January 15th 2011 at 3:30 pm or ownership will revert to the ABLE Commission and no refund of any prior payment(s) will be made.    

An inventory of the sale items is available on the ABLE Commission website at: The auction inventory is believed to be accurate; however, minor errors may be present and we do recommend that all potential bidders try to come in and view the sale items on the sale date.  Any person who wishes to view the inventory must be present at the site of the sale between 8:00 AM and 10:00 AM.  All sales are final and no refunds will be issued.  See the Commission legal notice in The Journal Record for further information concerning this sale.  The sale will be held at:

Cellar West 

8337 North Rockwell

Oklahoma City, OK 73132

Click to view Inventory List

Practicing Safe Alcohol Sales and Service 

The ABLE Commission in partnership with Oklahoma Prevention Policy Alliance, Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, and the Oklahoma Prevention Network will hold   Responsible Beverage Service and Sales Training classes to provide clerks, servers, and managers with the knowledge and skills to sell and serve alcoholic beverages safely, responsibly, and legally. 

Attendance requires advance registration by email to  Click on the link below for class times and locations. First class is January 12, 2011.  

Click on this link for more information

For Immediate Release – November 17, 2010

This afternoon, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued warning letters to four manufacturers of alcohol energy drinks, notifying the manufacturers that their products were not deemed generally recognized as safe by the federal agency.

The four companies named by the FDA include Charge Beverages Corporation, New Century Brewing Company, Phusion Projects, and United Brands Company. Only one manufacturer, Phusion Projects, is registered to sell its alcohol energy drink, Four Loko, in the State of Oklahoma.

The FDA’s warning letter stated that specific alcohol energy drinks manufactured by these four companies were considered adulterated products under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, and gave these manufacturers fifteen (15) days to specify what steps each manufacturer were taking to correct the violations.

The FDA’s press release can be accessed at:

On November 3, 2010, the Oklahoma ABLE Commission placed a moratorium on the approval of alcohol energy drinks, including Four Loko, until a local scientific panel could be assembled to review the products’ safety.

At that time, the ABLE Commission specifically stated that the temporary moratorium would not affect licensed wholesalers' or retailers' ability to sell Four Loko currently in the state. The moratorium would only restrict the ability of Phusion Projects, Four Loko’s manufacturer, to bring its alcohol energy drinks into Oklahoma after December 3, 2010.

The ABLE Commission is in the process of deciding what additional action, if any, may need to be taken by the state agency in light of the FDA's announcement today.

While the state agency does not foresee taking any immediate action to require wholesalers or retailers to remove Four Loko from their shelves, the ABLE Commission encourages all consumers and ABLE licensees to review and carefully consider the warnings published by the FDA this afternoon.


Contact Information:
John A. Maisch, General Counsel
Oklahoma ABLE Commission
(405) 522-4294


TO: ABLE Licensees

FROM: ABLE Commission

DATE: November 8, 2010

RE: Alcohol Energy Drinks including Four Loko

The Oklahoma ABLE Commission was notified on November 2, 2010, that Four Loko would no longer be represented in the State of Oklahoma effective December 3, 2010.  As such, Four Loko’s manufacturer, Phusion Projects, was notified that it would no longer be permitted to deliver shipments of Four Loko into Oklahoma for resale after that date.

In light of the growing scientific evidence against alcohol energy drinks, and the October 8th incident involving Four Loko in Roslyn, Washington, the ABLE Commission has decided to empanel a group of scientific experts to study the threats posed by pre-mixed, alcohol energy drinks combining ingredients such as caffeine, guarana, and taurine.  The panel will present its findings and recommendations to the ABLE Commission at a date to be determined. While the ABLE Commission awaits the findings and recommendations of this panel, a moratorium has been placed on the approval of any pre-mixed, alcohol energy drinks that combine ingredients such as caffeine, guarana, and taurine, pending a determination as to the safety of these products.

This moratorium does not affect Four Loko products already in the state or lawfully delivered to wholesalers prior to December 3rd. After December 3rd, wholesalers will only be allowed to sell Four Loko to package store and mixed beverage licensees until their inventories are depleted.  Similarly, package store and mixed beverage licensees may purchase Four Loko from wholesalers, and sell Four Loko to the public, until their inventories are depleted.

The ABLE Commission would like to express its appreciation to all licensees for their cooperation in this matter.  All questions pertaining to the ABLE Commission’s moratorium should be emailed to John A. Maisch, General Counsel, at:

From The Director’s Desk

The liquor industry has lost an icon here in Oklahoma, Hannibal “Pancho” Shadid, owner of Pancho’s Liquor Town, passed away October 15, 2010.  In 1959, Pancho opened one of the first retail liquor stores in Oklahoma as Oklahomans repealed prohibition.  On numerous occasions he told me he would never retire, true to his word, he never did.  Pancho came in regularly to keep an eye on the business he founded and with the loving support of his family turned it into the successful enterprise it is today.

I will remember many things about Pancho, among them his love for his family, also being an animal lover myself, I always appreciated Pancho’s feelings about pets and their treatment.  I did not think I could find someone who liked dogs as much as I do.  I was wrong. He was a savvy competitor, but he was also kind and generous.  I first met Pancho at an ABC Board meeting, where he had brought his well behaved favorite Chihuahua Pepe´.  After the board meeting as he was shaking hands and being introduced, I heard him say “who’s the new guy” to which my boss said “just some accountant from licensing”.  “Does he have a name” Pancho said.  “Yeah, Keith, Keith Burt” replied my boss.  Pancho strides over, shakes my hand for the first in what would become hundreds of handshakes and tells me it sounds like I know what I’m talking about during a budget presentation.  A compliment, a handshake and an invitation to his store for coffee and conversation the next time I was in the neighborhood.

In our many encounters over the years, he always greeted me with a warm smile and firm handshake, even near the end, that never changed.  We talked of the industry, of course, but he always took time to ask how my family and I were doing.  

In over 30 years, Pancho never treated me any differently than when he first met me.  That is not to say he did not respect the office of the Director, he did, but he saw people as people, not just a number or an office.  Early on, out of respect, I tried to call him Mr. Shadid.  I was told I wasn’t talking to his father, “I’m Pancho, just plain Pancho”.

Pancho, yes.  Plain, never.

Gone, sadly yes.  Forgotten, NEVER.

My heartfelt condolences to the Shadid family.

Just plain “Keith”

MISSION: Enjoy Oklahoma Safely! 

From The Director’s Desk 
By A. Keith Burt, Director
Oklahoma ABLE Commission

A Hospitable Mission
Occasionally people get the wrong impression of our mission here at the Alcoholic Beverage Laws Enforcement (ABLE) Commission. Many believe we are here to put a cork in their attempts to have fun. Our mission states we enforce and administer the Oklahoma Alcoholic Beverage Control Act, Oklahoma Charity Games Act, and Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco Act. Our desire is to help regulate an orderly market place and ensure a fair competitive situation for all. We would like nothing better than for all Oklahomans and our guests to enjoy Oklahoma’s hospitality.

A Broad Focus 
In 1959 when the Oklahoma Alcohol Beverage Control Board was created we had only one focus and that was alcohol regulation. Through the years Oklahoma’s Constitution was amended by a vote of the people in 1984, and liquor-by-the-drink on a county option was approved and the size of our agency more than doubled and received a name change to the current day ABLE Commission. From the mid eighties with almost 80 employees, through the 90’s, which saw the Legislature add Charity Games enforcement and Prevention of Youth Access to Tobacco, to the present day, which finds us with all the three missions and only 41 full time employees to get the job done, the job remains a challenge. 

An Increasingly Challenging Environment 
Today’s world is undoubtedly more complex than in 1959 when our agency was born (no Internet sales to be concerned with then). Yet what we want for citizens remains almost identical. There is still the consistent desire to protect Oklahomans from harm, while allowing the freedom to enjoy the hospitality the Midwest is known for.

We are privileged to work with responsible representatives of the liquor industry. People in this industry know their product is unique and that selling this product bears a responsibility unlike most others. Regulation is required or consequences will be had. Just look at the published works, “The Dangers of Alcohol Deregulation: The United Kingdom Experience”. This is surely an eye opener for those who want to sell alcohol as if it were soda pop.

There is not enough time to delve into all the subjects as each have enough weight to merit their own article, such as the defending of the three tier system and the implications of vertical integration on that system. We deal with subjects such as direct shipping, the Costco case, Granholm, second generation Granholm, and a piece of legislation called the Comphrehensive Alcohol Regulatory Effectiveness Act (CARE).

We deal with complex issues that invade simple supply and demand curves and interject public safety concerns that can and often do impact profit margins. People in our industry are just as concerned with their bottom line as any other walk of life. However, they realize that over indulgence can have deadly consequences. For the most part we deal with responsible retailers, restaurateurs and club owners. These people know we are out there checking their operations and most welcome it. They run clean operations and expect our help in maintaining an orderly safe market place. Do we write tickets? Do we revoke licenses? Do we make arrests? The answer is yes, yes, and yes. This, however, is not our goal - correcting behavior is. Many times a penalty will involve something other than a monetary or fiscal sanction such as greater security or perimeter control.

Increasing unit sales is generally a profit generator.  However a cheaper more accessible product is not always the answer. If you have ever had the chance to catch Pam Erikson’s presentation on the “The High Price of Cheap Alcohol”, you will be thoroughly enlightened. There are many examples of balancing profits with public safety. We try to be the guys who keep a mindful eye out.

In light of challenging times for both the private and public sectors we see innovation all around us as noon and dinner establishments sometimes double as nightclubs in the same venues. Yet, this clever use of limited space, often mean potential license premise control problems.

With the trend of downsizing regulatory agencies and/or a shift from state to local control, it is no accident that the correlation of shrinking budgets goes hand in hand with a struggling economy.  Twenty five years ago with an agency twice our size and only one mission, not three, we did a good job. Today the men and women of the ABLE Commission do three times the work with half the people and they’re doing a great job! With unemployment at record levels (and four years without a pay raise) many of them stop by just to say thanks for having a job and not being furloughed as some of our sister agencies have done with their employees.

I am proud of the work they do and am proud to be one of them.

EFFECTIVE May 28, 2010
In accordance with the passage of House Bill 3383, a surcharge shall be paid in addition to the applicable licensing fee and administrative fee, if required. The surcharge fees are listed below and shall be assessed annually for the following licenses at the time of submitting new and renewal applications. The license fee, surcharge and administrative fee payments can be made in one payment.  Failure to submit the license application, license fee, administrative fee and surcharge will cause an application to be delayed or denied. A copy of the bill is available to view.  Please direct questions to the Licensing Division 405-521-3484.     HOUSE BILL 3383


Non-Resident Seller




Class B Wholesaler without an active low-point beer license


Class B Wholesaler with an active low-point beer license


Package Store for cities and towns over 5,000 population


Package Store for cities and towns from 2,501to 5,000 population


Package Store for cities and towns from 200 to 2,500 population


Mixed Beverage


Mixed Beverage/Caterer Combination




Beer and Wine







Last Modified on 01/24/2007