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County officials outline alcohol-selling procedures

August 22, 2010|By DAN DEARTH

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County liquor officials want people to know that they have to follow the proper procedures if they plan to sell alcohol at parties, political fundraisers or other events.

Robert L. Everhart, chairman of the Board of License Commissioners for Washington County, known as the liquor board, said people wishing to sell liquor at such events are required to obtain a one-day liquor license and show proof that the event will be sponsored by a nonprofit organization.

He said officials are trying to raise awareness about the issue because they want to be sure people don't make money through what would amount to illegal alcohol sales, particularly now when political fundraisers are in full swing. The licenses, Everhart said, must be obtained whether the event is at a private or public venue.

"They think if they have it at their home, they can sell alcohol," Everhart said. "It's against the law."

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He said people who sell alcohol without a license could be held liable if someone gets injured at or after an event because they've had too much to drink.

"When they do this, there's a certain responsibility," Everhart said.

Debra Kirk, liquor board administrator, said nonprofits can obtain the one-day licenses at the liquor board at 148 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown.

The licenses cost $25 to sell beer, $35 to sell beer and wine, and $40 to sell beer, wine and liquor.

Kirk said the laws are enforced by local liquor officials, but the fines are set by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Bureau, which is a branch of the Maryland Comptroller's Office.

Jeff Kelly, director of field enforcement for the Comptroller's Office, said selling alcohol without a license can carry a maximum $1,000 fine and a two-year jail sentence.

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