2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 125. Alcohol beverages.
125.14 Enforcement provisions.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 125.14 (2017)

125.14 Enforcement provisions.

(1)Arrest. Subject to s. 175.38, any peace officer may arrest without warrant any person committing in his or her presence a violation of this chapter or ch. 139 and may, without a search warrant, seize any personal property used in connection with the violation.

(2)Confiscation; disposal.

(a) Contraband. All alcohol beverages owned, possessed, kept, stored, manufactured, sold, distributed or transported in violation of this chapter or ch. 139 and all personal property used in connection therewith is unlawful property and may be seized by any peace officer. Any peace officer confiscating personal property under this section may proceed under this section.

(c) Identification. Any person seizing alcohol beverages or personal property and electing to dispose of it under this subsection shall exercise reasonable diligence to ascertain the name and address of the owner of the alcohol beverages or property and of all persons holding a security interest in the property seized. The person shall report his or her findings in writing to the department.

(d) Order. Upon conviction of any person for owning, possessing, keeping, storing, manufacturing, selling, distributing or transporting alcohol beverages in violation of this chapter or ch. 139, the court shall order part or all of the alcohol beverages or personal property seized to be destroyed if it is unfit for sale. Alcohol beverages and other personal property fit for sale shall be turned over to the department for disposition. Upon receipt of the confiscated property, the department shall exercise reasonable diligence to ascertain the names and addresses of all owners of the property and of all persons holding a security interest in the property. If a motor vehicle is confiscated, the department shall obtain the written advice of the department of transportation as to the ownership of the motor vehicle and shall make a reasonable search for perfected security interests in the vehicle.

(e) Disposal. The department shall dispose of the alcohol beverages turned over to it by the court by either giving it to law enforcement agencies free of charge for use in criminal investigations, selling it to the highest bidder if the bidder is a person holding a license or permit issued under this chapter, or destroying it, at the discretion of the department. If the department elects to sell the alcohol beverages, it shall publish a class 2 notice under ch. 985 asking for sealed bids from qualified bidders. Any items or groups of items in the inventory subject to a security interest, the existence of which was established in the proceedings for conviction as being bona fide and as having been created without the secured party having notice that the items were being used or were to be used in connection with the violation, shall be sold separately. The net proceeds from the sale, less all costs of seizure, storage, and sale, shall be turned over to the secretary of administration and credited to the common school fund.

(f) Sale. Any personal property, other than alcohol beverages, seized under par. (a) and fit for sale, shall be turned over by the department to the department of administration for disposal at public auction to the highest bidder, at a time and place stated in a notice of sale which describes the property to be sold. The sale shall be held in a conveniently accessible place in the county where the property was confiscated. A copy of the notice shall be published as a class 2 notice under ch. 985. The last insertion shall be at least 10 days before the sale. The department of revenue shall serve a copy of the notice of sale at least 2 weeks before the date thereof on all persons who are or may be owners or holders of security interests in the property. Any confiscated property worth more than $100 shall be sold separately, and the balance of the confiscated property shall be sold in bulk or separately at the discretion of the department of administration. The net proceeds from the sale, less all costs of seizure, storage, and sale, shall be turned over to the secretary of administration. No motor vehicle or motorboat confiscated under this section may be sold within 30 days after the date of seizure.

(3)Recovery of confiscated property.

(a) Application. Prior to sale under sub. (2) (f), the owner of confiscated property may apply to a court of record in the county where the property was seized for an order restoring the property to the owner. After the sale, the owner may apply to the court for a refund of the amount realized on the sale. After the sale, any holder of a security interest in the property may apply to the court for a refund of the sum realized on the sale of property subject to the security interest, but not more than the amount due under the security agreement.

(b) Deadline. The application shall be made within one year after the sale of the property. A copy of the application and the order setting a hearing on it shall be served on the department at least 20 days before the date set for hearing.

(c) Grounds. Relief shall be granted only after a showing by the applicant that he or she is the true owner or holder of a bona fide security interest in the property seized; that the violation which led to the confiscation was not with his or her knowledge, consent or connivance; and, that he or she had no reasonable grounds to believe or suspect that the property would be used in a violation.

(d) Costs. The court may determine whether the applicant shall pay the costs of seizure and sale as a condition of obtaining relief. Allowance of costs and disbursements shall be within the discretion of the court.

(5)Nuisances. Any building or place where alcohol beverages or alcohol is sold, possessed, stored, brewed, bottled, manufactured or rectified without a valid permit or license issued under this chapter or ch. 139, or where persons are permitted to drink alcohol beverages in violation of this chapter is a public nuisance and may be closed until the activity in violation of this chapter is abated. When the activity is abated, the building or place may be used for any lawful purpose.

(6)Procedure.

(a) Form of complaint. In a prosecution for a violation of a statute relating to the sale of alcohol beverages it is not necessary to allege in the complaint, information or indictment the kind or quantity of alcohol beverages sold or the person to whom it was sold. It is sufficient to allege generally that the defendant sold alcohol beverages at a time and place mentioned, together with a brief statement of the facts showing that the sale was a violation of this chapter.

(b) Discovery. In a prosecution for a violation of this chapter that may result in the imposition of a forfeiture, neither party is entitled to pretrial discovery, except that, if the defendant moves within 30 days after the initial appearance in person or by an attorney and shows cause therefor, the court may order that the defendant be allowed to inspect documents, including lists of names and addresses of witnesses, if available, and to test under s. 804.09, under such conditions as the court prescribes, any devices used by the plaintiff to determine whether a violation has been committed.

History: 1981 c. 79; 1989 a. 253; 1997 a. 291; 2003 a. 33; 2005 a. 22, 332.

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