Fines levied in sales of alcohol to minors

4 businesses cited

3 sold to underage police cadets, intern

Howard County

March 20, 2002|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,SUN STAFF

Howard County police Detective Martin Johnson wanted to give his underage charges a taste of proper alcohol sales scrutiny before going out on a recent round of test visits to county restaurants and liquor stores, so he stopped at Barrie Lau's convenience store in the 9000 block Frederick Road.

Johnson knew Lau, a store owner and operator for 19 years, as someone who scrupulously checked identifications, confiscated forged cards and who helped police shut down an operation making fake cards for underage drinkers.

So he was "very surprised" when the college intern he sent into the store Aug. 20 emerged with a six-pack of beer.

Lau had waited on the under-21 woman personally, asked for her driver's license, but sold her the beer.

Later, he said he did not have his glasses on, did not look at the side profile picture for under-21 drivers, and thought the birth date read "1980" instead of 1983.

The county's Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board imposed a $300 fine on Lau on March 13, but he was not alone.

In a series of decisions signed the same day:

The board fined the operators of Copeland's of New Orleans, a chain restaurant off Little Patuxent Parkway in Town Center, $400 because a waitress served two underage police cadets without asking for identification July 3. The waitress was fired.

Curtis Barnard, licensee for Island Liquors in the 10500 block Washington Blvd., was ordered to pay a $400 fine after a police cadet was allowed to buy alcohol July 10 without an age check.

The owners of the Golden Bar and Grill, in the 8800 block Baltimore National Pike, were fined $250 for two violations of board rules - leaving window curtains drawn shut after closing.

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