Store owner fined after clerk gives beer to employee, 18

January 29, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Hickory Ridge liquor store owner whose clerk gave beer to an underage employee in August after closing was fined $500 by the Howard County Liquor Board.

Eric Stein, of Decanter Fine Wines in Hickory Ridge Village Center, was ordered to pay the fine after county police Detective Martin Johnson testified at a hearing Dec. 15.

Johnson was outside the store after it closed Aug. 2, he said, when clerk David Catania, 25, and Sean Fable, 18, emerged, each clutching brown paper bags found to have beer in them. Catania said he bought the beer at work and kept it in the back room until closing.

State law prohibits giving or selling alcoholic beverages to people younger than the legal drinking age of 21.

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