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Calvert Liquor Board suspends three licenses


Prince Frederick, MD - The Board of License Commissioner of Calvert County (The Liquor Board) handed down fines and suspensions for three businesses during its Thursday, Jan. 25 meeting.

For Neall’s Wine and Spirits in Owings, their violation of the county’s Training for Intervention Procedures (TIPs) and Techniques in Alcohol Management (TAMs) law was their second offense in less than one year. According to board Chairman Robert Arscott the violation occurred when during a routine unannounced inspection the store was being operated by an employee who was not TIPs/TAMs-trained and certified. “It was a seasonal employee,” explained owner Brian Neall, who added he had an out-of-town emergency to respond to. “I should have shut it (store) down. It was poor judgement.” Arscott noted Neall’s Wine and Spirits’ violation for selling alcohol to a minor resulted in a fine and three day license suspension back in August. That three-day suspension was held in abeyance and would have been expunged if the store could have gone a year without another violation. “You didn’t make it,” said Arscott. “Your excuse is no excuse.”

The board members agreed to allow Neall the opportunity to select three consecutive days when the store would not sell alcohol. Neall will need to notify the board clerk when the selection is made and turn the store license into the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office. In addition to the three-day suspension, Neall’s Wine and Spirits was fined $500.

Of the TIPs/TAMs training and certification, Arscott told Neall, “there’s no reason not to have it. The training is free.”

A $500 fine was levied against 2&4 Liquors in Sunderland for selling alcohol to a minor. The store also received a three-day suspension but it will be held in abeyance provided no further liquor law violations occur there for the next year. The store owner said 2&4 Liquors has not had a violation in 20 years.

The owner of Breezy Point Market in Chesapeake Beach also went before the board to answer to a sale of alcohol to a minor charge. Kent Tucker told the panel the employee who made the sale was immediately fired. A $500 fine was levied and three-day license suspension imposed. Tucker announced that he would turn over his license to local authorities and the store would not sell alcohol Feb. 5, 6 and 7. Tucker opined that local laws need to be changed so that more punitive measures are taken against the store employees who commit such indiscretions. He told the board that he has been in touch with Delegate Mark N. Fisher [R-District 27C] about sponsoring legislation to that effect.

The liquor board approved a license transfer during their meeting. Laura Hershfeld and James T. Watkinson were granted the transfer of a Class D On-Sale Beer, Wine and Liquor License for Breezy Point Bait and Tackle Store at Breezy Point Marina. Hershfeld who said all of the store’s employees will be TIPs/TAMs-trained and certified, indicated that the store will open April 1 and remain in operation until the end of summer. David Weigel, the Liquor Board’s attorney, reminded Hershfeld and Watkinson to notify the panel’s clerk when the business reopens and closes for the season.

The Liquor Board’s Jan. 25 meeting was held at Courthouse Square in Prince Frederick. Starting in February, the panel’s meetings are to be held at the Harriet Brown Community Center on Dares Beach Road.

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com

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