Five businesses are fined for liquor sales to minors Violations observed as police cadet, 20, tries to buy beer

June 12, 1996|By Mike Farabaugh | Mike Farabaugh,SUN STAFF

Carroll County's liquor board fined five businesses yesterday for selling beer to minors.

Cited were Freedom Liquors, Sykesville; the Spirit Shoppe, Sykesville; Nathan Henry's, Eldersburg; Finksburg Liquors, Finksburg; and K. C.'s Cafe, Sykesville.

The violations occurred in March, April and May when a 20-year-old police cadet, accompanied by a board inspector, visited the businesses and attempted to purchase beer.

The Spirit Shoppe was fined $500. The others also were fined $500 each, but the board suspended $250 of the fine in each case.

Explaining the board's decision regarding the Spirit Shoppe, Chairman Russell Mayor said he was concerned that the business was not doing a better job of policing its property.

The Spirit Shoppe carded the cadet and refused to sell him beer, but the cadet and the inspector said they saw a clerk sell two 12-packs of beer to a 20-year-old man who took the beer to two 17-year-olds in a car parked outside.

At Finksburg Liquors, a 60-year-old clerk was occupied counting lottery receipts and failed to ask the cadet for an identification card, said Michael Ball, the store owner.

"Guilty, no excuses," Ball said, noting that the violation was the store's first in five years during which "250,000 to 300,000 customers have come through our door."

"I wish the state police could come when we call them on a Friday evening, because we have a minor in the store trying to buy beer," he said. "But they are too busy and can't send a trooper right away.

"Haul [the minors] up to the barracks, call their parents and let fear and embarrassment help [the business owners] out."

Kevin Candrilli, owner of K. C.'s Cafe, pleaded not guilty, contending that his bartender asked for the cadet's identification and, while he was trying to calculate his age, mistakenly placed an unopened beer bottle on the counter, along with the cadet's identification and $2.50 in change.

The cadet told the board that two or three minutes passed and that he could have opened the beer and consumed it.

Candrilli contended that there was no sale. He said he took the beer after looking at the identification himself. The bartender did not open the beer, he said.

The board believed the sale was completed when the money was exchanged, Mayer said.

Pub Date: 6/12/96

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