Alcohol violations draw fines


A popular Columbia hamburger restaurant drew a $2,500 fine and had its liquor license suspended for three days last week for allowing a 16-year-old clerk to sell beer to a 17-year-old girl working for Howard County police. In a second case, a Columbia liquor store was ordered to pay a $500 fine for a similar offense.

Robert Dodson, licensee of Fuddruckers in the 6400 block Dobbin Center Way, got the stiff penalty for an incident that occurred Nov. 9, when the girl entered, ordered a single beer, and showed her correct driver's license to the cashier. He told another employee to give her the beer and, at the direction of county police Detective Martin Johnson, the girl walked out of the restaurant carrying the full, open bottle. Johnson later determined that the clerk was 16, too young to sell alcoholic beverages.

Despite testimony from Fuddruckers' officials that anyone who looks younger than 40 is to be carded, and that the cashier takes the money but only employees older than 18 deliver the beer, the Alcoholic Beverage Hearing Board imposed the fine and suspended the license for Thursday, Friday and yesterday for violations of multiple rules.

In the other case, Calvin and Lauretta Jackson, licensees of Snowden River Liquors, in the 9300 block Snowden River Parkway, were ordered to pay the $500 fine for allowing a17-year-old sent by the police to buy a six-pack of malt beverage without drawing a request for identification. Store manager Sonya Frimpong testified that the clerk in the incident was demoted and later quit.

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