Police cite 22 city stores, bars with serving alcohol to minors Probe done in response to community complaints

February 23, 1997|By Jason LaCanfora | Jason LaCanfora,SUN STAFF

The vice unit of the Baltimore Police Department's Central District cited 22 city bars, liquor stores and restaurants for serving minors during a two-night operation that ended Friday.

The initiative, called "Operation No ID, No Sale," was conducted in response to complaints from citizens, businesses and community groups that area bars and liquor stores were reportedly selling to people under the legal drinking age of 21, said Sgt. Craig Gentile of the vice unit.

Police used two 20-year-old community service officers for the operation. Ronald Bolling and Mark Holden entered 30 establishments and asked to be served, Gentile said. Some of the establishments had been cited in the past, and nearly all had signs to say they do not serve minors.

"None of these locations were overly busy when we went in," Gentile said. "They were not burdened down with customers. In some cases the bartenders admitted it was an oversight on their part.

"In some cases IDs were checked, and they were still served. It was either poor addition or they were just going through the motions and proceeding with the sale."

Each establishment was cited for furnishing alcohol to a minor, and the reports will be forwarded to the liquor board for further administrative action, Gentile said. The owners could face a fine and / or a suspension of their license by the liquor board. The extent of the action taken by the liquor board will depend on the records of the establishments, and recent fines have ranged from $100 to $500, Gentile said.

The bartenders or clerks who sold the alcohol were given criminal citations and charged with a misdemeanor in the sale of alcohol to someone under 21. If convicted, they face a maximum fine of $1,000 and / or up to two years in prison.

"What we're seeking is fines and community service," Gentile said. "We'd like a requirement to have these people go to health department classes about alcohol, so they know the impact of a simple sale and what it could lead to."

The following establishments were cited for serving minors:

Chang's Mart, Wilson and Eutaw streets.

Jason's Liquors, 1209 W. North Ave.

Paradise Liquors, 2223 Pennsylvania Ave.

Yummy Package Goods and Lounge, 2145 Pennsylvania Ave.

M and D Liquors, 2139 Pennsylvania Ave.

Wonderland Liquors, 2043 Pennsylvania Ave.

The North Inn, 3 E. North Ave.

The Gallery Bar, Maryland Avenue.

Jay's Deli and Spirits, 1309 N. Charles St.

People's Liquors, 20 N. Howard St.

The Eldorado Lounge, 322 W. Baltimore St.

Uncle Lee's Szechuan Restaurant, 44 South St.

The Goddess show bar, S. Eutaw Street.

Sportsman's Bar, 412 Park Ave.

Buddies Pub, 313 N. Charles St.

Mick O'Sheas Irish Pub and Restaurant, 328 N. Charles St.

Midtown Spirit & Wine Cellar, 17 W. Biddle St.

Stage Door Bar, 5 Commerce St.

The Custom House Saloon, 18 Custom House Ave.

Chez Joey, 415 E. Baltimore St.

The Doll House, 425 E. Baltimore St.

The Midway Bar, 421 E. Baltimore St.

Eight bars did not serve the officers when approached: Royal Liquor, 1800 Division St.; Turf Bar and Lounge, 226 W. Fayette St.; Harry's Bar, 1200 N. Charles St.; Shiner's Sports Bar, 11 S. Eutaw St.; Crystal Showbar, 417 E. Baltimore St.; Hope Diamond Lounge, 415 E. Baltimore St.; 408 Club, 408 E. Baltimore St., and The Pussycat, 411 E. Baltimore St.

Gentile said he was pleased to see that so many bars complied with the law, and he praised the bartenders who enforced the drinking age limit.

Pub Date: 2/23/97

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