Prince Frederick, MD – After a one-month hiatus the Calvert County Board of License Commissioners (the Liquor Board) convened Thursday evening, Oct. 26 minus longtime member and former chair Beth Swoap, who was not reappointed to the board by Governor Larry Hogan. Indications were that the panel’s newly hired inspector, Mike Stevens, has been extremely busy since coming on board this past summer. A manifestation of Stevens’ work ethic was the presence of 10 local businesses cited for violations going back to August.
Six of the businesses—Outback Steakhouse, Heavenly Chicken and Ribs, Chesapeake Grille and Deli, Fastop North Beach and Solomons, Spirits of Calvert and Country Wine—were all cited for violating the Training for Intervention Procedure (TIPs)/Techniques of Alcohol Management (TAMs) regulations. Specifically, the violators either did not have TIPs/TAMs-certified employees on-site when the inspector showed up or had allowed their certification to lapse.
Liquor Board Chairman Robert D. Arscott told the cited business owners and managers that Calvert County is now offering free TIPs/TAMs certification courses on a regular basis in all three of Calvert’s election districts. Word is apparently moving slowly through the business circles. Arscott noted that a free training session was recently offered in Chesapeake Beach and no one showed up.
Each of the six businesses cited for TIPs/TAMs violations were given fines of $100. “Next time we may not be so lenient,” Board Alternate John H. Smack told the final violator.
Two businesses—Dunkirk Wine and Spirits, and Breezy Point Grill—were cited for liquor sales to minors. Each business received a $250 fine and a three-day license suspension. The suspensions are being held in abeyance for one year and will lapse if no violations occur for that period.
Fastop St. Leonard and Lusby received a $100 fine for not having liquor sale receipts kept on the premises.
The most unusual case of the meeting involved Salsarita’s Fresh Mexican Grill in Prince Frederick. The eatery was cited for purchasing alcohol from a retail store.
When Stevens inspected Salsarita’s he found a bottle of brandy that had indications it had been purchased from a store. Licensed liquor vendors are required to only obtain their liquor supplies from distributors. The restaurant manager explained that several years ago Salsarita’s celebrated Cinco de Mayo by concocting sangria. The brandy was purchased from a nearby store. Stevens admitted that the brandy bottle “had some dust on it,” indicating the purchase was made several years ago. The board levied a $100, which they suspended.
“I don’t think you did that intentionally,” Arscott told the restaurant manager.
Liquor license-holders interested in Calvert’s free TIPs/TAMs certification sessions are encouraged to contact Ashley Staples of Calvert County Behavioral Health at 410-535-3079, ext. 41.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com