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KENT COUNTY, MARYLAND


Board of License Commissioners

February 5, 2002

The Honorable Board of License Commissioners met today with the following present: Larry B. Beck, W. Michael Newnam, and Ronald H. Fithian, presiding.

Larry B. Beck, and Ronald H. Fithian, presiding. W. Michael Newnam was not in attendance due to a work commitment at his place of employment, Verizon.

Mauritz Stetson, Alcoholic Beverage Inspector, appeared to discuss the following issues:

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE VIOLATION
SHORE STOP OF ROCK HALL, INC.

In response to a report received from the Alcoholic Beverage Inspector relating to an alleged violation of Article 2B Section 12-108 of the Annotated Code of Maryland, an administrative hearing was held at 10:00 a.m. as it relates to alleged sale of an alcoholic beverage to a person under 21 years old at Shore Stop, on January 3, 2002 at approximately 11:00 p.m. Mark Cropper, Esq., representing Stop of Rock Hall, Inc., and Richard Cookerly, Esq., representing the County, were in attendance as well as witnesses summoned, Cpl. Kim Conley, Joshua Paul Whiteley, Worton, Mary Helen Dreisbach, employee, and Vice President, Shore Stop of Rock Hall, Inc., and Robert N. "Bo" Ford, Rock Hall. Others in attendance were: Donna Richardson, Supervisor, Shore Stop, and Mark Johnson, District Manager, Shore Stop,

Commissioner Fithian read the letter directed to officers/licensees of Shore Stop of Rock Hall, Inc., as to alleged violation. Cpl Conley, Rock Hall Police, then testified that while outside of the Shore Stop of Rock Hall, she was advised by Bo Ford that (4) minors had purchased beer. She observed them leave the area and stopped their vehicle where she found (2) six packs of Icehouse beer in plain view. She later returned to the Shore Stop and obtained a written statement from the clerk who sold the alcoholic beverage. Cpl Conley stated that according to the clerk, Ms. Dreisbach, she did not card the purchaser as she believed he was someone whom she had previously carded and was not underage. Cpl. Conley also advised that she reviewed the store surveillance video tape confirming Mr. Whiteley's purchase. Commissioner Beck inquired if other individuals could be observed in the video surveillance tape. Cpl. Conley advised that the tape displayed a close up of the transaction, and the remainder of the store could not be viewed.

Mr. Whiteley testified that he acquired the alcohol and was not carded during the purchase. Mr. Whiteley identified the clerk from whom he purchased the alcohol as Mary Helen Dreisbach.

Mr. Johnson testified that as district manager, he is responsible for four stores in Maryland and six in Delaware and associated store managers. He identified all of the posters, placards and associated material on display that remind both customers and employees of restricted sale policies.

The following exhibits were submitted for the record:

Exhibit 1 - Policies, Procedures and Instructions should a violation relating to an age-

restricted sales takes place at Shore Stop stores.

Exhibit 2 - Excerpt from employee handbook advising of ABC Laws regarding the sale of alcohol, tobacco products, and lottery tickets.

Exhibit 3 - Sample Employee affirmation form to be executed acknowledging understanding of age-restricted sale laws.

Exhibit 4 - Sample Employee affirmation form to be executed acknowledging receipt of handbook.

Exhibit 5 - Example of in-house age-restricted sales exercise to test employees knowledge of subject matter.

Exhibit 6 - five Polaroid photographs depicting signs, placards, employee aprons expressly advertising their policy complying with the law.

Ms. Dreisbach, testified that she had been employed by Shore Stop for thirteen months, had taken the required TIPS training class as well as an in-house training program. She confirmed that she did not card the individual as a result of mistaken identity. Ms. Dreisbach, testified that she recalled only one individual (Mr. Whiteley) at the time of purchase. She affirmed that she was responsible for the mistake. Mr. Stetson inquired if Ms. Dreisbach, had been terminated from her employment as a result of this incident. Ms. Dreisbach confirmed she has been terminated.

Ms. Richardson, a TIPS certified trainer, testified as to the extensive educational programs Shore Stop has implemented to train employees about restricted sales and the periodic review of ABC laws/policies. She also advised of the policy that if a restricted violation takes place, the employee will be terminated.

Mr. Ford testified that his observation of four individuals whom he thought were underage buy alcoholic beverages, to Cpl Conley. He advised that as Bar Manager for Ford's Seafood, he is Tips trained.

Upon questioning by Commissioner Beck, Cpl. Conley testified that Mr. Whiteley's friend, James Brian Paul was also in the store during the time of this purchase.

Mr. Cropper acknowledged the seriousness of the matter, however, he stated that Shore Stop makes every effort to reinforce restricted sales laws and train employees so that violations do not occur. He stated that Shore Stop goes beyond the necessary training and in this instance the employee had three separate training sessions and still made a mistake. He stated that the licensee had met all obligations, gone beyond their responsibilities and asked for consideration when rendering a decision. Commissioner Beck reminded Mr. Cropper that the ultimate responsibility fell to the licensee.

Commissioner Fithian inquired as to the number of offenses in past years. The Executive Assistant advised that this was the third offense in six years.

Mr. Stetson advised the licensees that they would be notified of a decision within fifteen days.

This hearing was taped for reference and was adjourned at 10:45 a.m.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE VIOLATION
C'TOWN LIQUORS

Mr. Stetson reported on violation to Article 27 Section 400B of the Annotated Code of Maryland as it relates to the misrepresentation of age by a minor to induce the sale of an alcoholic beverage. The violation occurred at C-Town Liquors. The case was closed by the issuance of a citation.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE VIOLATION
HAWK-EYE'S TAVERN

Mr. Stetson reported on violation to Article 2B Section 13-101 of the Annotated Code of Maryland as it relates to the failure to have an individual certified in alcohol awareness training present on the premises during the hours in which alcohol is served or consumed. The violation occurred at Hawk-eye's Tavern. An administrative hearing will be scheduled.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE VIOLATION
PIP'S LIQUOR

Mr. Stetson reported on violation to Article 27 Section 401, 401A of the Annotated Code of Maryland as it relates to possession of an alcoholic beverage by a person under the age of twenty-one and furnishing an alcoholic beverage to a person under the age of twenty-one. The violation occurred at Pip's Liquor. The case was closed by the issuance of a citation.

There being no further business to claim their attention, the Board adjourned to meet again on Tuesday, February 12, 2002.

 

Please contact Joyce Laskey or Janice Fletcher at (410) 778-7435 or by e-mail with any questions or comments.

 

 




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