Prince Frederick, MD – While they applied measures of leniency, the Calvert County Board of License Commissioners (Liquor Board) nevertheless levied fines against five businesses that were caught in the act of selling alcohol to minors. Four of the five businesses—La Tolteca of Prince Frederick, Ledo’s Pizza of Chesapeake Beach, Sakura Japanese Steak and Seafood in Prince Frederick and Adam’s Ribs of Prince Frederick—had representatives at the Thursday, April 25 hearing at Harriet Brown Community Center. Representatives of the fifth business—Thursday’s Bar and Grill of Owings—failed to show.
For the four businesses that were represented at the hearing, the three-man panel imposed fines of $500, which were reduced to $100 providing no further liquor law violations occur within the next year. The board also imposed a one-day license suspension, which will be held in abeyance provided no violations occur within the next year.
Board Chairman Robert Arscott announced Thursday’s would be required to pay the full $500 fine and the business would have its license suspended for one day. A decision on the exact day the license will need to be handed over to the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office will be decided at the Liquor Board’s May meeting.
Each license-holder assured the board that steps were being taken to make sure the indiscretion does not reoccur. The measures include taking advantage of the county’s free courses for Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPs) and Techniques in Alcohol Management (TAMs). “That’s something that falls on me,” said Jaime Padillo of Adam’s Ribs, who told the board the availability of the training course provides the opportunity for him to get all his employees certified.
“He’s very sorry, it’s his first violation in 12 years,” said attorney Larry Cumberland, representing La Tolteca owner Jose Antonio Marquez, who admitted the alcohol was sold to a woman who looked like she was 21 or older.
The Liquor Board also fined Lighthouse Restaurant and Dock Bar of Solomons for not properly displaying its liquor license. The Maryland regulation states, “Every person receiving a license under the Alcoholic Beverages article shall display the license in a frame, under glass, in full view of the public.” During a routine inspection of the Lighthouse, Inspector Mike Stevens observed that the business’s liquor license, while framed and displayed, did not have the glass protection. Stevens told the owners they would need to have the document under glass to be compliant with state regulations. He subsequently gave the proprietors three additional warnings.
Lighthouse co-owner Nicholas Shriver apologized for not placing the document under glass and admitted he had not read the state regulation prior to displaying the license and had not realized its importance.
“You just flat out ignored him [Stevens],” Arscott told Shriver. Coming to Shriver’s defense was the Liquor Board’s attorney, David Weigel, who stated if the applicant was told he had a month to be compliant the other warnings shouldn’t be held against him [Shriver].
Arscott recommended a $500 fine, reduced to $100 with a one-day license suspension held in abeyance for one year. Board Member Jack Smack, however, suggested the levy be cut in half to $250. Board Member Frank B. Stull suggested a compromise—a $500 fine reduced to $175—which the panel approved.
Smack commended Stevens and the deputies from the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office for their work in enforcing the state and county liquor laws. “They are doing their job,” said Smack.
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