Liquor law violations bring fine, not revocation

October 26, 2005|BY A SUN REPORTER

Howard County's Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board has ordered a fine, but no license revocation, for Young Duk Suh and his wife, Jun Suh, for a series of liquor law violations at the Rainpia Cafe in Ellicott City.

The Suhs got the license in November with help from former Gov. Marvin Mandel, who was their attorney, despite past infractions that made board members skeptical of their ability to successfully run the tiny restaurant near Bethany Lane on U.S. 40.

In April, the county liquor inspector, Detective Martin Johnson, cited the owners for a series of violations.

Despite Young Duk Suh's agreement at a hearing Sept. 27 that the Suhs violated seven provisions of county liquor laws, the board ordered an $850 fine Oct. 21, adopting the argument of Suh's new attorney, Robert J. Kim, that the violations were technical, and might have been caused partly by Suh's poor English-language skills.

The new problems - including having people in the restaurant after 2 a.m. closing time and lacking employment records or required tax stamps - are "not violations which cause direct and serious danger to the public," the board decided.

The board was reluctant to grant the license in November because of incorrect information on the application, past liquor law violations at a restaurant the Suhs owned in Georgia, and Young Duk Suh's two impaired-driving citations in Maryland in 1989 and 1990.

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