Frederick will hire a new liquor inspector to patrol downtown bars and restaurants to ensure city establishments are following the law.
The decision, approved Thursday, follows complaints of over serving in some downtown bars.
The part-time inspector will earn $29,000 to monitor liquor law compliance in Frederick city from May 1 through June 30, 2013. The cost of the inspector is covered by a percentage of liquor-licensing fees.
Currently the county splits fee revenues with municipalities — Frederick’s portion last year was $81,000. State Del. Kelly M. Schulz (R-Dist. 4A) of New Market is leading a summer study to determine whether liquor fees should be raised to cover the cost for additional inspectors.
Police Chief Kim Dine had urged the city and county to consider a second inspector in January.
“This is obviously a public safety issue, and you have to address it from multiple perspectives,” Dine said. “... Inspections of our alcohol establishments we think is going to be a good thing for peace and order and public safety.”
The county currently has one inspector to monitor the 309 liquor licenses in the county — 150 of which are in the city. That inspector earns $58,000 annually.
Alderman Carol Krimm (D) praised the efforts of residents, who brought the problem to the city’s attention.
“This was something that we all agreed that maybe we could do this,” Krimm said. “That this would be something that would maybe impact public safety. And it was the residents that brought this forward.”
A liquor inspector makes sure that establishments that serve liquor comply with state liquor laws. All establishments with a liquor license must operate their business in such a manner as to avoid disturbing the peace, safety and quiet of the neighborhood, according to state law. State law also prohibits an establishment from knowingly selling alcohol to anyone who is visibly under the influence of alcohol.