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Liquor stores accused of selling to a minor

August 09, 2007|By ERIN JULIUS

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Four businesses accused of selling alcohol to minors went before the Board of License Commissioners Wednesday morning.

The commissioners voted to review testimony and render decisions in each of the cases within 30 days.

Businesses usually are fined for selling alcohol to minors, although certain factors, such as whether it was a first offense, are considered, board chairman Robert Everhart said.

Washington County Sheriff's deputies employed an 18-year-old girl to conduct alcohol sales enforcement checks May 25.

The girl purchased alcohol from each of the businesses while deputies monitored the transactions, Sgt. Chris Howard testified before the commissioners.

In each case, the clerks who sold alcohol to the girl were charged through Washington County District Court with selling alcohol to minors.

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Representatives from Country Spirits, 25459 Highfield Road in Cascade; Village Spirits and Things, 22935 Jefferson Blvd. in Smithsburg; Potomac Discount Liquors, 187 E. Main St. in Hancock; and North End Liquors, 142 Limestone Road in Hancock, appeared before the commissioners.

Two other businesses were accused of selling alcohol to minors during the May 25 enforcement check, but those hearings are scheduled for another day.

The Washington County Sheriff's Department performed enforcement checks on eight businesses May 25, and six of those businesses were in violation, Howard said in a phone interview Wednesday afternoon.

The Washington County Health Department funds the alcohol sales enforcement checks that are meant to deter the sale of alcohol to underage individuals, Howard said. The Washington County Sheriff's Department has operated three alcohol sales enforcement checks in the last 18 months, he said.

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